TORONTO -- The Toronto stock market closed slightly lower despite better than expected figures on gross domestic product and jobless claims in the United States.

The S&P/TSX composite index took back 5.26 points to 14,178.84 as it felt downward pressure from gold and tech stocks. The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.43 of a cent to 90.65 cents US.

The U.S. Commerce Department said consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in three years last quarter, pushing the American economy to grow at a 2.6 per cent annual rate from October to December. Jobless claims also fell to the lowest level since November, a hopeful sign that hiring in the U.S. could be picking up.

But despite the encouraging data, the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell for the eighth straight month in February, an indicator that real estate sales will likely slow over the next few months.

Wall Street reacted to the mixed economic news with little fanfare as the Dow Jones industrials fell 4.76 points to 16,264.23, the Nasdaq shed 22.35 points to 4,151.23 and the S&P 500 index dipped 3.52 points to 1,849.04.

Meanwhile, shares in smartphone maker BlackBerry closed down nearly two per cent at $10 as it prepared to report fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Friday. The struggling Waterloo, Ont., tech company has been making changes to its business model since last year in efforts to stay competitive against the likes of Apple and Samsung.