Wall St falls on U.S. growth concern; Shake Shack, Amazon rally

Separate data showed U.S. consumer sentiment rose in January to its highest in 11 years

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U.S. stocks fell on Friday, pressured by concern over by domestic economic growth and the potential impact of Euro zone instability on U.S. corporate results.

U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006.

“It’s just a little disheartening to see the U.S. didn’t have such a great quarter and it puts a little bit of fear in the minds of the people,” said Joseph Benanti, managing director for sales and trading at Rosenblatt Securities in New York.

Adding to concerns, Greece’s finance minister said the government would not cooperate with the European Union and International Monetary Fund mission bankrolling the country and would not seek an extension of the bailout program.

“The equity market is trying to deal with all the uncertainty around the world. Today, Greece is on everyone’s mind,” said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at Voya Investment Management in New York.

He said that while sluggish growth in the fourth quarter was disappointing, consumer spending was a bright spot.

Separate data showed U.S. consumer sentiment rose in January to its highest in 11 years on better job and wage prospects.

That confidence appeared to be reflected in some corporate results. Amazon shares jumped 13.5 percent after earnings that beat Wall Street expectations on strong holiday season sales.

At 12:59 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 117.65 points, or 0.68 percent, to 17,299.2, the S&P 500 lost 12.72 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,008.53 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.20 points, or 0.15 percent, to 4,676.21.

If the S&P closes January in the red, it would be its first back-to-back monthly decline since April-May 2012.

In contrast to the broader market on Friday, shares in newly public burger restaurant Shake Shack rose 131.7 percent to $48.66 in their first day of trading.

Chevron said it plans to spend $35 billion this year on oil and gas projects, 13 percent less than in 2014. The bulk of that amount - $23.4 billion - will be on projects outside the United States. Shares fell 2.5 percent to $100.44.

Google Inc shares rose 4 percent to $533.68 even as revenue growth of 15 percent in the fourth quarter fell short of Wall Street's target.

Visa rose 4.7 percent to $259.67 after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and announced a 4-for-1 split of its class A common stock.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,054 to 967, for a 2.12-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,886 issues fell and 762 advanced, for a 2.48-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The benchmark S&P 500 was posting 15 new 52-week highs and 11 lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 37 new highs and 60 lows.

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