* Allergan up after confirming buyout talks with Pfizer
* GoPro, Deutsche Bank fall after results
* U.S. GDP growth below forecast
* Indexes down: Dow 0.47 pct, S&P 0.30 pct, Nasdaq 0.41 pct (Adds details, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Oct 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks eased on Thursday after the Federal Reserve rekindled expectations of an interest rate hike in December and data suggested the economy was ready.
The Fed, which kept rates unchanged at its policy meeting that ended Wednesday, downplayed concerns about global growth and indicated confidence in the U.S. job market’s recovery.
Data on Thursday underscored the strength in the labor market, showing that new applications for unemployment benefits remained near levels last seen in 1973.
U.S. GDP growth braked sharply in the third quarter, hurt by an inventory buildup and a slowdown in industrials, but economists expect a pick up in the current quarter given strong domestic fundamentals.
“What is positive about the GDP number is that it showed that consumers are strong,” said Janelle Nelson, portfolio analyst at RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
Nelson attributed the strength to lower gasoline prices, improved housing trends and the strength in the labor market trickling down to consumers’ spending patterns.
Odds of a December hike increased to 43 percent as of Thursday morning from the 38 percent minutes before the release of the statement, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch program.
At 11:05 a.m. ET (1535 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 82.85 points, or 0.47 percent, at 17,696.67, the S&P 500 was down 6.25 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,084.1 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 20.77 points, or 0.41 percent, at 5,074.92.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the utilities sector’s 1.5 percent fall leading the decliners.
Still, the three indexes were on track for their best month in four years.
The market is likely to be driven by end-of-the-month rearrangement of investment portfolios by institutions, rather than by fundamentals, said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial in Florida.
Allergan’s shares shot up 8.5 percent to $311.50 after the Botox maker confirmed it was in buyout talks with Pfizer. Pfizer was down 1.2 percent.
GoPro slumped 16.3 percent to $25.30 after the action camera maker posted disappointing results.
Deutsche Bank’s U.S.-listed shares were down 8.3 percent to $27.80 after the German bank announced a massive overhaul of its operations that includes 35,000 job cuts.
Starbucks, Western Union, LinkedIn and Electronic Arts report after the close.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,914 to 965. On the Nasdaq, 1,520 issues fell and 1,024 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 23 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 76 new highs and 43 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)