Stocks edge lower after economy report

AP News
Posted: Jan 30, 2013 11:57 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are little changed after a report that showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, putting the brakes on a January rally that has lifted stocks toward record levels.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 2 points to 13,952 as of midday EST. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell a fraction to 1,507. The Nasdaq composite rose 4 points to 3,158.

The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles, the Commerce Department said.

Investors will parse the Federal Reserve's statement later Wednesday following the conclusion of the central bank's first two-day meeting this year.