The primary data point in focus for investors on Friday is the second reading on the U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth. “People are looking at GDP to make sure the economy is still intact,” said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics. Analysts polled by Reuters expect GDP growth of 2.1 percent, after 3.9 percent in the third quarter.
“Obviously, expectations there are lowered pretty significantly,” said JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade. The “GDP can only hurt the market. If we don’t meet those expectations we’ll be pretty much in trouble (because those expectations are already so low).”
Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management, expects less of a pullback on the initial reading of 2.6 percent and a figure that still shows that the U.S. economy is growing as “a star of the developed world.”