U.S. stocks open flat, as traders ponder downwardly revised 1Q GDP, ahead of G20 conclave

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By Palash R. Ghosh | June 26, 2010 3:42 AM EST

After four consecutive days of losses, U.S. stock indices have opened flat, ahead of the start of the G20 meeting this weekend, while traders weigh an unexpected downward revision to first quarter GDP growth (2.7 percent vs. 3.0 percent), with a large reduction in first quarter final sales growth to 0.8 percent from 1.4 percent.

Traders are also pondering the ramifications of pending financial regulation that will overhaul rules that regulate banks and investment firms. However, compromises to the bill by a House-Senate reconciliation committee overnight include features that would limit banks from investing in high-risk asset classes, but would allow such activity at subsidiaries and would not restrict derivatives trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.05 percent; the S&P 500 index is up 0.01 percent; and the NASDAQ composite is down 0.05 percent.

European stock markets are down, but above intra-day lows. FTSE has slipped 0.19 percent, exacerbated by BP, which has sunk to a 14-year low, on news that costs of containing Gulf oil spill has already exceeded $2-billion

Germany's DAX is down 0.48 percent; and France's CAC 40 has lost 0.31 percent.

Major Asian equity indices dropped, following Wall Street's declines Thursday, partially on fears that financial regulation in the U.S. would hurt the banking sector and curb global economic growth. Japan's Nikkei-225 index plunged 1.92 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged down 0.21 percent.

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