NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks fell on Friday as the U.S. economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in the fourth quarter and mixed earnings fueled market volatility.
The S&P 500 was down 0.55%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.17%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.17%. Stocks gave back some of the gains achieved in a late-day rally on Thursday.
U.S. GDP rose 2.6% in the fourth quarter, lower than an expected 3.2% gain, as business spending remained weak. The pace was nearly half the third-quarter's blockbuster 5% growth. However, consumer spending was stronger than expected at 4.3%, a sign lower gas prices were continuing to prop up sentiment.
"Today's number is a miss and a disappointment in the context of recent strong GDP prints," said BTIG chief strategist Dan Greenhaus. "The Federal Reserve can't be happy with that and compounding the issue, price pressures remained relatively benign in the quarter."
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index jumped to 59.4 in January, up from 58.8 a month earlier, and higher than an expected 57.5 reading. The ISM Manufacturing Index, a broader measure of economic health, will be released Monday.
U.S. consumer sentiment rose in January to its highest level in 11 years. The University of Michigan's final reading for January jumped to 98.1 from 93.6 a month earlier.
On the positive earnings side, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report soared more than 10% after turning a quarterly profit of 45 cents a share, 28 cents above expectations. The e-commerce juggernaut said gross margins rose 300 basis points from a year earlier to 29.5%. Google (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report was up 3.1% despite missing profit and sales expectations. Ad prices slipped 3% quarter on quarter on low smartphone rates.
MasterCard (MA) - Get Mastercard Inc. (MA) Report jumped 2.8% as fourth-quarter profit of 69 cents a share beat by 2 cents and revenue surged 14% from a year earlier. The world's second-largest credit card company reported a 29% increase in profit.
Chevron (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report was flat after beating low expectations in its fourth quarter. Earnings of $1.85 a share beat by 21 cents, while revenue of $46.09 billion came in much higher than an expected $30 billion. Sales dropped 18% as oil prices plunged.
Earnings have taken Wall Street's focus in what has been one of the busiest reporting weeks of the season. Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report , Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get QUALCOMM Incorporated Report , Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report and Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report were among the companies that reported earlier in the week.
European markets were lower. Germany's DAX was down 0.32%, France's CAC 40 slid 0.33%, and London's FTSE 100 fell 0.37%. Further supporting the European Central Bank's plan to introduce easing measures in March, the latest figures from Eurostat showed the region at continued risk of slipping into deflation. Consumer prices in the Eurozone slipped 0.6% in January compared to the year earlier, its largest decline since mid-2009.
Russia's central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates by 200 basis points to 15%, only a month after raising rates to that level. Russia has been under pressure, skirting a recession, as oil prices plunged and Western sanctions following the Ukraine conflict crippled the economy.
Russian ADRs were being pulled lower on Friday. Mobile Telesystems (MBT) - Get Mobile TeleSystems PJSC Sponsored ADR Report , Yandex (YNDX) - Get Yandex NV Class A Report and Qiwi (QIWI) - Get Qiwi Plc Sponsored ADR Class B Report were down, while the Direxion Daily Russia ETF (RUSL) - Get Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3x Shares Report plummeted more than 6%.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.