Midday Report: Foot Locker Falls; U.S. Stocks Rise on Consumer Strength

U.S. stocks moved higher after the latest data showed fourth-quarter growth in the U.S. economy wasn't as bad as feared.
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Stocks moved higher after the latest data showed fourth-quarter growth in the U.S. economy wasn't as bad as feared. However, that could increase the chances for another Federal Reserve rate hike sooner than later. Some analysts bet the Fed will skip March, but hike in June. The U.S. trade deficit in January widened to its largest level since June. U.S. exporters struggled to move goods as a stronger U.S. dollar and a weaker global economy deterred demand. The consumer economy remained a bright spot, though. Spending rose 0.5% in January, boosted by colder winter weather and lower gas prices. Foot Locker (FL) fell despite a better-than-expected quarter. The retailer reported a nearly 8% increase in comparable-store sales. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from Wall Street.