By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006. The slowdown followed two back-to-back quarters of bullish growth and is likely to be short-lived given the enormous tailwind from lower gasoline prices. Other data on Friday showed consumer sentiment jumped to an 11-year high in January. "We look for strong domestic consumption to continue supporting growth momentum in the coming quarters even as investment suffers due to falling oil prices," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New York.
By Ernest Scheyder WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - Chevron Corp halted its 2015 share repurchase program on Friday, a move designed to conserve cash amid tumbling oil prices and its latest cost-cutting step after slashing capital spending. Chevron repurchased $5 billion worth of shares in 2014. "Given the change in market conditions, we are suspending our share repurchase program for 2015," Chevron Chief Financial Officer Pat Yarrington said on the call. Chief Executive Officer John Watson said Chevron's dividend, currently $1.07 a quarter, remained the "highest priority" for the company's balance sheet.
New government data showing a slowdown in U.S. economic growth helped pull stocks mostly lower in midday trading Friday. Financial stocks were among the biggest decliners. Investors also were monitoring the latest crop of corporate earnings.
MOSCOW (AP) â In the latest of a slew of Russian doping cases, Yulia Zaripova faces being stripped of her gold medal in the 3,000 steeplechase from the 2012 London Olympics after being banned for a drug violation.