US banks, tech stocks lead modest advance; tepid GDP growth quashes Fed slowdown concerns

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Stocks are ending slightly higher after a report of tepid U.S. economic growth raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue its stimulus program.

The government lowered its estimate for growth in the first three months of the year to 2.4 per cent from 2.5 per cent.

Stocks slid last week on concerns that the Fed might slow its bond purchases.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points to 15,324 Thursday, or 0.1 per cent. The Dow rose 95 points in the afternoon, then faded in the last hour.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose six to 1,654, or 0.4 per cent. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 3,491.

Three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.5 billion shares.