U.S. stocks traded on a mixed note in mid-day session after the world's largest economy expanded less than forecast. Disappointing quarterly earnings from Ford also dented the sentiment.
S&P 500 Index lost 0.44 percent to trade at 1,312.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.76 percent to 12,637.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index inched 0.05 percent higher to 2,806.77 in mid-day trading.
On the economic front, U.S. gross domestic product - the value of all goods and services produced - grew 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, less than 3 percent increase projected by economists'. In the third quarter, real GDP grew 1.8 percent.
In corporate news, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) retreated 3.3 percent to $12.31 after earnings for fourth quarter came in below expectations. Operating earnings per share was $0.20, below consensus of $0.25 per share
Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) slid 3.01 percent, Procter & Gamble Co.(NYSE:PG) fell 1.1 percent and Altria Group Inc.(NYSE:MO) fell 1.5 percent after reporting their results.
In other corporate news, Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) dropped 2.5 percent after coffee maker raised its fiscal 2012 earnings view below consensus.
Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR) declined 3.1 percent after the company issued a weak forecast for the first quarter. The company also reported lower fourth-quarter earnings, blaming weak demand from service providers.
Solutia (NYSE: SOA) soared 39.8 percent to $27.27 after the specialty chemicals maker agreed to be bought by Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE:EMN) for $4.7 billion including assumed debt, or $27.65 a share. Eastman will pay $22 in cash and 0.12 share for each share of Solutia. EMN jumped 5.9 percent in mid-day session.
Riverbed Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD) tumbled 20.6 percent to $23.75 after the San Francisco, California-based provider of information technology services guided first quarter revenue of $183 million - $187 million, lower than consensus of $197.1 million and EPS of $0.19-$0.21, lower than consensus of $0.25.
Cepheid (NASDAQ:CPHD) surged 19.3 percent to $41.04 after the molecular diagnostics company guided fiscal 2012 above consensus. It sees non-GAAP earnings between $0.55 and $0.60 per share, on revenue in the range of $333 to $347 million. Analysts' expect earnings per share of 39 cents on revenue of $333 million.
In the currency market, the euro advanced 0.45 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3168, and the British pound inched 0.06 percent higher against the greenback. The dollar lost 0.94 percent against the Japanese yen to 76.7130.
Crude oil futures strengthened 0.40 percent to $100.10/barrel, and gold futures gained 0.21 percent.
The European markets ended sharply lower following the U.S. GDP data. U.K. FTSE 100 finished 0.93 percent lower. German DAX30 declined 0.22 percent and French CAC 40 lost 1.05 percent.
In the Asian market, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.31 percent to close at 20,501.67. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.09 percent to finish at 8,841.22. India's BSE 30 Sensex ended flat at 17,233.98. The markets in China were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.