Stocks Struggle After Durable Goods Drop

U.S. stocks wavered in the early trading on Tuesday after a report showed weaker-than-expected orders for long-lasting products. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 4.62 points to 12,976.89. The S&P 500 Index added 0.75 point to 1,368.34. The Nasdaq Composite rose 6.87 points to 2,973.03.

New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell in January by the most in three years as demand slumped across the board. Durable goods orders dropped 4.0 percent, the biggest decline since January 2009 when the country was still mired in a deep recession, according to Commerce Department data on Tuesday.

Home prices fell in December for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index shows prices dropped in December from November in 18 of the 20 cities tracked. Nationwide, prices have fallen 34 percent nationwide since the housing bust, back to 2002 levels. A gauge of quarterly national prices, which covers 70 percent of U.S. homes, fell to its lowest point on records dating back to 1987.

Texas Instruments is working with makers of medical devices and sports accessories to develop new types of energy-efficient products, according to an executive at the company.The Dallas-based chipmaker has created new microcontrollers — tiny chips that are embedded in everything from industrial equipment to toys — that consume half as much power as existing chips, according to Scott Roller, vice president of TI’s microcontroller business.

Oil dropped for a second day in New York on growing speculation that demand may be curbed by a rally that has driven prices to a nine- month high. Oil for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined as much 94 cents to $107.62 a barrel in electronic trading and was at $107.67 a barrel.






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