Stocks Waver as Debt Talks, Data in Focus

U.S. stocks opened mostly lower on Tuesday as investors continued to monitor the ongoing debt talks in Washington and ahead of the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for July. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 77.12 points to 12,515.68. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 5.18 points to 1,332.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.20 point to 2,843.00 .

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner touted rival plans to cut the U.S. deficit and lift the debt ceiling in back-to-back television appearances Monday night, keeping up a standoff over government spending with just days remaining before the nation begins defaulting on obligations.

Home prices in major U.S. cities rose for the second straight month in May, propped up by an annual flurry of spring buyers. But after adjusting for such seasonal factors, prices fell in a majority of markets. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index released Tuesday showed that prices rose in 16 of the 20 cities tracked.

Ford’s ambitious plans to grow in Asia and retake the luxury market in the U.S. took a toll on its second-quarter profit, with higher costs offsetting rising sales. The company said Tuesday it earned $2.4 billion, or 59 cents per share, down 8 percent from $2.6 billion, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

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