November 24, 2009 / 3:58 PM / in 8 years

US STOCKS-GDP, Case/Shiller muddy recovery hopes

* U.S. economy grows 2.8 pct in Q3, less than expected

* Home prices, consumer confidence rise in new data

* HP Q4 results meet prelim figures, buyback increased

* Indexes down: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]

(Updates to midmorning, adds consumer confidence data)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, a day after the Dow hit a 13-month high, after data showed an improving economy, but at a slower rate than expected.

Growth domestic product grew a hair less than forecast in the third quarter, at a 2.8 percent annual rate. The expansion could signal an end to the recession, but stock investors need to see hearty advancement to support further gains after a 22 percent rise in the S&P 500 this year.

Standard & Poor‘s/Case-Shiller housing data was equally disappointing, rising in September, but at a much less robust rate than expected. The Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction index .DJUSHB fell 1.7 percent. For details, see [ID:nN24296971]

“If we want to get this economy going, if we want to get this economy recovering and add jobs, we’re going to want to see better numbers than we are seeing,” said Richard Sparks, a senior equities analyst with Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 23.96 points, or 0.22 percent, to 10,426.76. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX shed 1.67 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,105.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC fell 8.94 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,167.08.

The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence index rose to 49.5 in November, above the analysts’ expectation of 47.7. [ID:nN24300840]

The market trimmed losses at midmorning after the consumer confidence data.

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) shares slid 1.5 percent to $50.24 a day after it reported a quarterly profit that matched its preliminary results. It also said the economy remained challenging, though it saw signs of a recovery. [ID:nN23242457]

Earlier Tuesday, both Medtronic Inc (MDT.N) and Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O) reported quarterly earnings that estimates. [ID:nN23263230] and [ID:nN23261485]

Medtronic gained 6 percent to $42.70, while Dollar Tree climbed 4.6 percent to $51.34.

ryan.vlastelica@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +1 646-223-6014; Reuters Messaging: ryan.vlastelica@reuters.com@reuters.net

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