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Premarket: Stock futures lower, J.C. Penney shares surge Add to ...

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Markets are softer this morning, with stock futures losing further ground after the U.S. reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter gross domestic product.

The report is the first reading on the three-month period, and while subject to several revisions in the weeks ahead, the 2.5 per cent growth that was reported by the Commerce Department missed expectations for 3.0 per cent expansion. Still, it was considerable improvement from growth of 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter. And much of the weakness seen in the first quarter was due to a drop in government spending - especially in defence - while consumer spending saw its biggest increase in two years.

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