Stocks Fell Slightly as Investors Weigh Earnings, Data

The U.S. stocks fell slightly at Wednesday’s opening as traders balanced better-than-expected U.S. economic data and earnings reports from key technology and banking companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 13.02 points to 11,564.03. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 3.32 points to 1,222.06. The Nasdaq composite was off 19.48 points to 2,637.95.

Homes were built in September at the fastest pace in 17 months, a hopeful sign for the economy. Builders began work in September on a seasonally adjusted 658,000 homes, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That’s a 15 percent increase from August and the best pace since April 2010.

U.S. consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in September, while so-called core prices rose a lesser 0.1%, the Labor Department reported. The core data for retail-level inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy inputs, posted its smallest increase since March.

On Tuesday, Apple reported earnings and revenue that came in below analyst expectations.Net income in the fiscal fourth quarter was $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per share. That was up 54 percent from $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per share, a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $7.28 per share. Revenue was $28.3 billion, up 39 percent.

Morgan Stanley, buoyed a solid performances in all its core divisions and a one-time accounting gain, announced third-quarter earnings of $2.15 billion, compared with a loss of $91 million a year ago. The company’s profit of $1.16 a share handily beat analyst predictions of 30 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.





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