Indexes have traded mostly in the red today, and just after noon the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 46 points, or 0.35%, to 13,057. Today investors have been focused on new data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, fears over Europe, and worries about a hurricane making its way up the East Coast.
First, the good news: Third-quarter U.S. GDP growth came in at an annualized 2% clip -- higher than most economists were expecting. In the second quarter, GDP growth was only 1.3%, so for the economy to pick up -- especially given setbacks due to a severe drought that knocked off 0.4% from the figures -- was impressive.
The bad news is that the powerful Hurricane Sandy is forecast to make landfall in the U.S. and could be devastatingly. Bloomberg reported that Hurricane Sandy could be the worst storm to hit the Northeast in 100 years if current forecasts are accurate.
In the Dow, this would spell trouble for Travelers (NYSE:TRV), which would likely have to pay out on a huge number of claims from damage caused by the storm. The stock was down 0.9% at the time of this writing.
Banks JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) were hit by fears that Greece may not be able to meet the standards required for a bailout. The two companies were leading the Dow lower around lunchtime today, with Bank of America shares falling about 1.8% and JPMorgan shares down around 1.6% amid the worries over Europe.
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) sits atop the Dow's gainers for the day, up about 1%, as technology stocks appear to be more in favor on Friday.