US stocks end flat as 4Q growth disappoints

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished little changed on Friday Jan 27) following a lacklustre US fourth-quarter growth report and some high-profile earnings disappointments from Chevron, Google parent Alphabet and others.

Analysts said the market was still digesting gains from earlier in the week, including the Dow's surge on Wednesday above 20,000 points.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down less than 0.1 per cent at 20,093.78.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.1 per cent to 2,294.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1 per cent to 5,660.78.

US growth came in at a sluggish 1.9 per cent in the quarter ending Dec 31, well below the 3.5 per cent in the third quarter and under analyst expectations.

Chevron was the biggest loser in the Dow, shedding 2.4 per cent as it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 22 cents share, well below the 64 cents expected by analysts.

Google parent Alphabet lost 1.1 percent after fourth-quarter earnings rose 8 per cent to US$5.3 billion, although it missed expectations.

Starbucks also disappointed the market, slumping 4.1 per cent after its US comparable sales rose by 3 per cent in the fourth quarter, below the level set by many analysts.

Others that fell after reporting earnings included American Airlines, which dropped 5.2 per cent, Colgate-Palmolive, which shed 5.3 per cent, and PayPal, which dropped 3 per cent.

Microsoft gained 2.3 per cent as it reported a 3.6 per cent rise in second-quarter profit to US$5.2 billion behind gains in cloud computing and other new areas of focus.