Wall Street slips; gold tumbles

Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:49pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday after upwardly revised fourth-quarter growth data failed to impress investors and worries over Ukraine lingered, and gold tumbled to a six-week low as the improved U.S. growth increased expectations that U.S. interest rates might rise sooner than investors have thought.

The euro hit a three-week bottom against the dollar, as speculation rose that the European Central Bank might ease monetary policy further. Peripheral European government bond yields hit a multi-year trough.

In global equities, the MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS edged up 0.08 percent while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 200 index .FTEU3 was up 0.16 percent.

Wall Street derived little comfort from the final revision to fourth-quarter growth and a decline in weekly jobless claims to a four-month low. The U.S. Commerce Department said gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, below the 2.7 percent pace expected by analysts.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 6.77 points, or 0.04 percent, at 16,262.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 4.71 points, or 0.25 percent, at 1,847.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 23.32 points, or 0.56 percent, at 4,150.26.

"Data has largely been in line. It's been incredibly uneven, and that is another reason why there is some hesitancy," said Peter Kenny, chief executive officer of Clearpool Group in New York.

"The market has been given plenty of reasons to sharply sell off and it does not seem as though there is that spirit to do it," Kenny added. "Clearly we are coming to the end of the quarter and no one is particularly interested in marking the book down."

Technology shares continued to weaken, extending a trend of investors' moving away from more speculative investments in the stock market. The S&P technology index .SPLRCT was down 0.5 percent.   Continued...

A man walks past the London Stock Exchange in the City of London October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth