• Wall Street lower, looks past improved GDP data


    NEW YORK, Dec 20, 2012 (AFP) – Wall Street stocks were mostly lower in early trade Thursday, as traders shrugged off an upward revision in US economic growth and focused on concerns about the “fiscal cliff.”

    About 10 minutes into the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8.67 points (0.07 percent) at 13,243.30.

    The broad-market S&P 500 shed 0.38 points (0.03 percent) at 1,435.43, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 3.79 points (0.12 percent) at 3,040.58.

    Official data showed the US economy grew 3.1 percent in the third quarter, faster than previously estimated, but analysts said underlying economic activity remained fragile.

    The market action came as Washington continued to wrangle about the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that, in the absence of a political compromise, could take the world’s biggest into recession.

    On Wednesday, the Dow finished down 0.74 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 0.76 percent, while the Nasdaq lost 0.33 percent.

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