Wall Street moved to a defensive mode on Friday, shifting into safer equity sectors as economic data raised the specter of inflation and possible interest rate hikes, while technology shares pulled back after an initial surge.U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 2.3 percent annualized pace in the first quarter, slower than the prior quarter but stronger than the expected 2-percent growth.
Accompanying the growth in the first quarter, which tends to be sluggish because of a seasonal quirk, was data that showed wages increasing at their quickest pace in 11 years.
The signs of inflation come as bellwether companies have recently cautioned that higher costs could erode margins, warnings that investors clung on to, rather than reports that showed first-quarter corporate profit growth was the strongest in seven years.
At 12:04 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 35.60 points, or 0.15 percent, at 24,286.74, the S&P 500 was up 2.23 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,669.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.42 points, or 0.05 percent, at 7,122.10.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher with the defensive utilities and real estate sectors gaining just more than 1 percent.