NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are slipping Tuesday as investors continue to sell phone company and utility stocks. Materials companies are the exception, as they’re trading higher as the dollar weakens. Investors are also sifting through reports that showed inflation remained weak in July, but home building and factory production improved.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 48 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,587 as of 11:40 a.m. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,182. The Nasdaq composite fell 25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,237.
CONSUMER PRICES: The Labor Department said prices paid by consumers were unchanged in July as gas and other energy prices kept inflation down. Core inflation, which leaves out food and fuel prices, inched up just 0.1 percent for the month. Overall, inflation is up just 0.8 percent over the last year. That’s far below the 2-percent target set by the Federal Reserve, and investors concluded that means the Fed is less likely to raise interest rates soon.
Bond prices dipped and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.58 percent from 1.56 percent.
CURRENCIES: Following the price report, the dollar fell to 100.40 yen from 101.25 yen. The euro rose to $1.1275 from $1.1183. The weakening dollar continued to boost materials companies Tuesday, as it could make their products more affordable in markets outside the U.S. Packaging maker WestRock rose 85 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $44.85.
Industrial gas company Praxair got a boost following reports it’s in talks with Germany’s Linde about a possible deal. Its stock rose $6.38, or 5.4 percent, to $124.41.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 67 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $46.41 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international oils, rose 61 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $48.96 a barrel in London.
STEEP LOSS: Tea maker Hain Celestial Group delayed its quarterly report because of accounting issues and said it doesn’t expect to reach its financial projections for the year. The stock tumbled $15.20, or 28.5 percent, to $38.20.
SUIT UP: Uniform maker Cintas said it will buy G&K Services, a uniform and facility services maker, for $97.50 a share, or $1.93 billion. G&K Services advanced $15.01, or 18.3 percent, to $97.14 and Cintas stock gained $8.03, or 7.5 percent, to $115.45.
BLEMISH: beauty products maker Coty posted results that surpassed expectations, but said little about its purchase of Procter & Gamble’s beauty business, a $15 billion deal expected to close in the next few months. Coty said it’s “premature” to comment on how the combined business will do. The stock skidded $1.93, or 6.5 percent, to $27.82.
MAXXED OUT: TJX, the parent of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other stores, traded lower after it forecast a disappointing third-quarter profit. The retailer said higher wages and the strong dollar will hurt its results. The company had reported solid quarterly results and raised its estimates for the full year. Its stock gave up $3.49, or 4.2 percent, to $79.28.
AIG DEAL: Insurer American International Group said it will sell its United Guaranty mortgage insurance unit to Arch Capital for $3.4 billion in cash and stock. AIG has been streamlining its business and said early this year that it would spin off United Guaranty. Its stock picked up 5 cents to $59.27.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Commerce Department said the rate of home construction grew 2.1 percent in July, mostly because of an increase in apartment construction. It was the strongest pace of new home starts since February.
FACTORY FACTS: The Federal Reserve said U.S. factories cranked out more autos, machinery and chemicals in July. Factory output rose 0.5 percent. Overall industrial production, which includes utilities and mining, grew 0.7 percent as people used more air conditioning in response to hot weather. The results suggest manufacturers might be recovering from a series of challenges that have held them back, including the strong dollar and slower overseas growth. Still, factory output is just 0.2 percent higher than it was a year ago and manufacturers aren’t adding many jobs.
GAME ON: Dick’s Sporting Goods announced better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its projections for the year. Its stock jumped $4.08, or 7.4 percent, to $58.97.
OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent and the CAC 40 in France shed 0.5 percent. Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.6 percent as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar. South Korea’s Kospi eked out a 0.1 percent loss and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.1 percent.
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