* GDP shy of expectations, consumer confidence dips
* Amazon.com weighs on S&P after results; Chevron helps Dow
* Major averages on track to post solid gains for the week
* Indexes: Dow flat, S&P down 0.4 pct, Nasdaq down 0.6 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday as
the broadest measure of U.S. economic growth fell short of
expectations in the first quarter and Amazon.com gave a
Amazon.com Inc tumbled after the world's largest
Internet retailer reported its results late on Thursday and was
the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes.
Gains by shares of Hewlett-Packard Co and Chevron
Corp limited losses in the Dow. Despite Friday's
decline, major indexes were on track for a week of solid gains.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent rate in the
first quarter, the Commerce Department said, which was below
estimates of 3 percent but stronger than the fourth quarter's
0.4 percent rate in 2012.
Even before the data, economists have raised doubts about
the ability of the economy to absorb government spending cuts
and higher taxes. Investors likely speculated the Federal
Reserve, which meets next week, will debate whether to take more
measures to boost growth or at least keep the current stimulus
plans in place.
"The moderate move to the downside isn't out of line with
the GDP data as light as it was," said Steve Sosnick,
equity-risk manager at Timber Hill/Interactive Brokers Group in
Greenwich, Connecticut. "It wasn't so great, but not bad enough
to derail the freight train the market has been on."
The S&P is 1.5 percent higher for the week while the Dow is
up 1 percent and the Nasdaq up 2 percent.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading
on the overall index on consumer sentiment fell to 76.4 from
78.6 in March, although it topped economists' expectations.
Amazon shed 7.4 percent to $254.51 after it said revenue
growth slowed in the first quarter as the company struggled
overseas, but margins jumped on lower shipping expenses.
Chevron rose 0.8 percent to $119.48 after the second largest
U.S. oil company posted earnings that beat expectations, helped
by foreign currency gains.
"In general, earnings haven't been blockbusters, but the
fact that we've had a sharp rally through the season tells you
the market is relatively sanguine about what has come out,"
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 6.44
points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,694.36. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 6.84 points, or 0.43 percent, at 1,578.32.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 19.94 points, or
0.61 percent, at 3,270.05.
Hewlett-Packard gained 3.3 percent to $20.24, helping to
limit losses by the Dow.
J.C. Penney Co was the S&P 500's biggest gainer,
jumping 8.7 percent to $16.56 a day after investor George Soros
reported a 7.9 percent passive stake in the company.
Shares of Starbucks Corp, the world's biggest
coffee chain, slipped 1 percent to $59.85 after it reported
revenue was slightly below expectations.
The PHLX housing sector index gained 1.2 percent and
was on track for its sixth consecutive advance, getting a lift
from D.R. Horton Inc after the No. 1 U.S. homebuilder
D.R. Horton shares jumped 7.3 percent to $26.31.
With 51 percent of the S&P having reported, 69 percent have
beaten earnings expectations, above the 63 percent average since
1994 and slightly over the 67 percent beat rate over the past
However, revenue has been lackluster, with only 42 percent
topping analyst forecasts, well below the 62 percent average
since 2002 and the 52 percent beat rate for the last four
Analysts now see earnings growth of 3.6 percent this
quarter, up from expectations of 1.5 percent at the start of the