By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday held near five-year highs after reports showed the economy contracted in the final quarter of 2012 and better-than-anticipated payrolls growth in January.
Up 6.5% month-to-date and on track for its best January in 24 years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was down 3 points at 13,951.20.
Boeing Co. (BA) was among blue-chip gainers after the aircraft maker reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's estimates.
The S&P 500 index (SPX) was down half a point at 1,507.23, with the financial sector the worst performer and telecommunications the best of its 10 major industry groups.
U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) fell 5% after the Canadian company said it would change its name to BlackBerry.
The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) rose 4.66 points, or 0.2%, to 3,158.30, with the technology-laden index supported by a 6% rise in shares of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) a day after the online retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter gross profit margins.
Social-networking company Facebook Inc. (FB) climbed 1.8% ahead of its quarterly earnings report expected after Wednesday's close.
For every three stocks that rose, four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 237 million shares traded as of 11:50 a.m. Eastern. Composite volume approached 1.5 billion.
Stock-index futures fell after the Commerce Department reported fourth-quarter gross domestic product dropped at a 0.1% annual rate, the worst performance since the second quarter of 2009, when the economy remained in recession.
"For the first half of 2013, we do not envisage a very strong acceleration in economic growth," Kathy Bostjancic, director for macroeconomic analysis at the Conference Board, said in a statement.
"However, there are reasons for hope in the second half of the year as the fiscal drag wanes and housing, which long created a drag on the economy, continues to turn from a headwind to a tailwind," she added.
A separate report from a payrolls processor said private companies added 192,000 workers in January, with the better-than-expected rise coming ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report for January.
The Federal Reserve will release a policy statement Wednesday afternoon after a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
The FOMC is expected to keep policy unchanged and continue its aggressive bond buying in an effort to boost the economy.
Treasury prices dropped on Wednesday, with the benchmark 10-year yield (10_YEAR) rising 2 basis points to 2.025%.
The U.S. dollar (DXY)fell against other global currencies, including the euro (EURUSD).
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