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Wall St dips despite the Fed's bullishness

US stocks fell yesterday on lacklustre economic data in a session marked by low volume and choppy trading, but losses eased after the Federal Reserve raised its expectations for growth in 2010.<br /><br />Stocks fell early in the session as revised government data on gross domestic product showed the US economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in the third quarter. <br /><br />Hewlett-Packard shares led the Dow industrials lower a day after the technology bellwether said in its results that the US economy remained challenging. <br /><br />With the S&amp;P 500 up 22 per cent so far this year, investors were struggling to justify additional gains after a series of middling economic reports.<br /><br />However, the downbeat mood was tempered after the Fed revised upward its growth expectation for 2010, while minutes of the FOMC&rsquo;s most recent meeting showed officials are increasingly confident about a durable recovery for the US economy.<br /><br />&ldquo;You're getting the cross-current of weak revisions to third-quarter data matrixed against the Fed increasing the growth estimates for the economy for the next year,&rdquo; said Jim Awad, managing director at Zephyr Management in New York.<br /><br />&ldquo;But the action in the market is moderate going into the holiday weekend and I wouldn't read too much into it.&rdquo;<br /><br />The US stock market will be closed tomorrow in observance of Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, it will be open for only half a day due to the holiday.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average . dropped 17.24 points, or 0.16 per cent, to end at 10,433.71. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 Index inched down just 0.59 of a point, or 0.05 per cent, to 1,105.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 6.83 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 2,169.18.<br /><br />Hewlett-Packard fell 1.6 per cent to $50.19 a day after the blue-chip computer and printer maker reported a quarterly profit that matched its preliminary results, but said the economy remained challenging. <br /><br />HP also said it saw growth in its share of US enterprise personal computers, which is rival Dell Corp&rsquo;s key market. Dell&rsquo;s stock fell 3.2 per cent to $14.32 and ranked as a top drag on the Nasdaq 100.