US stock index turned lower Friday after the latest GDP report showed a better headline number than economists expected, but traders had already been anticipating that number, which pros said is why the market was rallying the past few days.
Gross domestic product contracted at 1 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said in its first read on the second quarter. Economists had expected that number to come in at a 1.5-percent decline. The prior two months, which had already been showing pretty severe declines, were revised lower.
Stocks had briefly ticked higher after the headline surprise but because the market had already been buzzing about this better-than-expected number, traders followed the classic formula: Buy on the rumor, sell on the news.
This came after stocks rallied Thursday, logging their highest close since November. Japan's Nikkei closed at a 10-year-high Friday.
Among the stocks traders were talking about, General Electric continued to benefit from a Goldman Sachs upgrade based on the belief that the CNBC parent will not have to split off its GE Capital financing arm. GE shares gained 1.3 percent in premarket trading.
Chevron shares skidded after the oil giant missed its earnings target as revenue was cut in half by the sharp drop in oil prices.
This followed similar results this week from ExxonMobil , Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and BP earlier in the week.
In other news, the US administration is working to keep the "cash for clunkers" program going despite the fact that it exhausted its authorized funding of nearly $1 billion in less than a week.