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Mar 01, 2012, 08.50 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Wall Street ends lower; US GDP grows at 3% annual rate

The US markets closed in the red as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke dashed hopes for further monetary stimulus during his speech to congress on the economy. However, the S&P has surged 8.7% since January, logging its best start to the year since 1991. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq briefly topped 3,000 in intraday trading for the first time since December 2000.

The US markets closed in the red as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke dashed hopes for further monetary stimulus during his speech to congress on the economy. However, the S&P has surged 8.7% since January, logging its best start to the year since 1991. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq briefly topped 3,000 in intraday trading for the first time since December 2000.

Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.41% or 53.05 points at 12952.07. Nasdaq Composite was down 0.67% or 19.87 points at 2966.89. Standard & Poor's 500 was down 0.47% or 6.5 points at 1365.68.

On economic data front, US GDP grew at a 3% annual rate, logging the fastest gain since the second quarter of 2010. Also weekly mortgage applications rose last week as interest rates dipped.

In key data to watch out for in US today, jobless claims are expected to rise to 355,000 for week ended February 25. Personal income may remain unchanged at 0.5%, while consumer spending may rise to 0.4%. And the ISM manufacturing index could come in at 54.6. Also watch out for construction spending data.

In the currency space, the euro continues to trade lower, at 1.33 to the dollar, ahead of European Union leaders meet on crisis.

In commodities, crude price trend higher as speculation that US economic growth will boost fuel demand countered concern that rising supplies will limit price gains.

The precious metals space, gold tumbles over 3% for its biggest one-day drop in 2 and half months on strong dollar. Gold is currently trading around USD 1705 levels.

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