Stocks look set for a breather

February 28, 2014: 9:09 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Stocks could struggle to hit new highs Friday after data showed the economy was not as strong in the fourth quarter as previously estimated.

U.S. stock futures were drifting lower ahead of the opening bell.

The government said gross domestic product -- the broadest measure of economic activity -- grew at an annual rate of 2.4% in the fourth quarter. That was weaker than previously estimated and marked a slowdown from the third quarter. But investors were expecting the final reading to be revised lower, and the number was still better than some had feared.

Still to come, the University of Michigan will release its February consumer sentiment index.

Related: Fear & Greed Index, still greedy

Marc Chandler, strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman, said that premarket trading was getting dragged down by weakness in the European markets after having posted record highs the day before.

Investors will have just a few earnings to digest Friday. 3-D printing company 3D Systems (DDD) will report earnings before the bell.

Best Buy (BBY) shares bumped higher after the electronics retailer swung to a profit.

Shares of United Airlines (UAL) slid after the airline said it had to cancel 22,000 flights during the first two months of the year because of the weather, prompting a profit warning.

U.S. stocks got a boost Thursday as investors were cheered by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee . The S&P 500 ended at a record closing high of 1,852.46. The Dow and Nasdaq also gained for a second consecutive session.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

European markets dropped in morning trading, though the movements were relatively muted.

Asian stock markets were mixed. China's currency was grabbing headlines as it continued its sharp move downwards versus the U.S. dollar.

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Dow 17,086.63 -26.91 -0.16%
Nasdaq 4,473.70 17.68 0.40%
S&P 500 1,987.01 3.48 0.18%
Treasuries 2.46 -0.00 -0.08%
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Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 97.19 2.47 2.61%
Facebook Inc 71.29 2.02 2.92%
Microsoft Corp 44.87 0.04 0.09%
EMC Corp 28.75 0.23 0.81%
Bank of America Corp... 15.52 0.00 0.00%
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