Stocks Opened Down on Weak German Data

Stocks opened lower on Tuesday after three days of gains as data showed sluggish German growth hobbled the euro zone. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 85.37 points, or 0.74 percent, at 11,397.53. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 12.11 points, or 1.01 percent, at 1,192.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index was off 28.06 points, or 1.10 percent, at 2,527.14.

Germany’s economic growth nearly ground to a halt in the second quarter, highlighting fears that the so-called Wirtschaftswunder in Europe’s largest economy may be coming to an end. Gross domestic product rose 0.1% in the April- June quarter from the preceding three months, the German statistics institute reported Tuesday, citing seasonally adjusted data. The figures mark a sharp slowdown after German GDP expanded 1.3% in the first quarter

The leaders of France and Germany meet for high-pressure talks on Tuesday to discuss what further measures they can take to shore up investor confidence in the euro zone following a dramatic market sell-off last week.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 604,000 homes last month, a 1.5 percent decrease from June. That’s half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that factory output increased 0.6 percent last month. That’s the biggest increase since the March 11 earthquake in Japan, which disrupted supply chains and limited output by some U.S. auto plants.

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