NEW YORK (
) -- The first look at economic growth in the fourth quarter will be the highlight of Friday's session, as it should show a significant improvement over the third quarter.
Fourth-quarter gross domestic product, or GDP, should rise 4.6% in the Commerce Department's advance report, according to a poll of analysts by
. That compares to the final growth rate of 2.2% in the third quarter, when the U.S. economy officially emerged from the recession that began in December 2007. In the fourth quarter of 2008, GDP fell 5.4% as net exports plummeted.
Also on the economic front, the Chicago Purchasing Managers will release their manufacturing index at 9:45 a.m. EST, which should dip to a reading of 57.4 in January from 58.7 in December. Only 10 minutes later, the University of Michigan will release the final January reading of its consumer sentiment index, which should inch higher to 73 from 72.8.
will also be in focus Friday as both will open their books on the fourth quarter, bringing a busy weeks for quarterly earnings to a close.
Chevron should see its fourth-quarter profit fall to $1.70 a share from $2.44 in the year-ago quarter. Honeywell, meanwhile, should see earnings in the quarter fall to 90 cents a share from 97 cents a share in the year-ago period.
In addition to both,
will post earnings for the last quarter before the start of trading.
Quarterly earnings results from
, which both report later Thursday, will likely also be on the minds of traders Friday.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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