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Closing Update: Stocks Slump After Steeper Decline for Q1 GDP, Falling Consumer Confidence Prompts Share Price Worries

Stocks finished lower on Friday, declining after new economic data showing Q1 gross domestic product contracted even more than first reported and consumer confidence fell to a six-month low this month. Declines were broad-based, with all 10 sectors in the S&P 500 retreating today, led by shares of industrial and financial companies.

Q1 GDP contracted an annualized 0.7%, down from initial reports of a 0.2% decline although still that beat market estimates for a 0.8% contraction. Reflecting the dollar's detrimental impact on multi-national profits, adjusted corporate pre-tax profits fell 5.9% during the first three months of the year, accelerating from a 1.4% decline during Q4.

Also today, the final May reading for the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment slid to a 90.7 reading - it's lowest level since November - from April's 95.9 final score.

Crude oil for July delivery settled 2.62 higher at $60.30 per barrel after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed biofuel standards for 2015 through 2017 that were lower than many industry proponents were expecting. The move helped keep oil companies trading near even for the session or even to post moderate gains but sent shares of ethanol and biodiesel producer sharply lower.

Among other commodities today, July natural gas futures fell 6 cents to $2.64 per 1 million BTU while August gold rose $1 to $1,189.40 per ounce.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at the end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 115.44 (-0.64%) to 18,010.68

S&P 500 down 13.40 (-0.63%) to 2,107.39

NASDAQ Composite down 27.95 (-0.55%) to 5,070.03

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index down 0.11%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.18%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.80%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) HRTX, Reports positive, top-line results from Phase III testing of its Sustol drug candidate, with 64.7% of the cancer patients treated with the three-drug combination enjoying steep drops in their post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting.

(+) ESI, Reports audited 2014 financial results, including a measure of its financial stability topping a minimum threshold that should allow the for-profit educator to operate without additional U.S. Department of Educuation oversight.

(+) TBIO, Launches its Multiplexed ICE COLD-PCR CLIA service to detect cancer mutations affecting the performance of certain drugs used to treat non-small cell lung cancer or making colorectal cancer patients resistant to the widely-used chemotherapy.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) FRO, Amends long-term charter agreement with Ship Finance International ( SFL ), reducing long-term base rates SFL pays and boosting its share of profits generated by the partnership. FRO also issues 55 mln to SLF, representing a nearly 31% stake worth about $168 mln.

(-) GEVO, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces renewable volume obligations for 2015 through 2017 that were lower than many industry proponents had expected and trailed statutory levels established by Congress.

(-) PSUN, Q1 adjusted net loss of $0.12 per share was $0.01 wider than consensus view. Revenues falls 2.7% to $166.5 mln, lagging Street by around $3.55 mln. Guides Q2 EPS in-line but revenue outlooks trails analyst estimates by at least $5.18 mln.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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