Stocks Closed Lower on Profit Taking

U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday, halting three sessions of gains for the S&P 500, as investors took profits after stocks traded at multiyear highs in the prior session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.94 points, or 0.52%, to 13,170.19. The S&P 500 fell 4.23 points, or 0.30%, to 1,405.52. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 4.17 points, or 0.14%, to 3,074.15.

Technology giant Oracle Corp reported that new software sales rose 7 percent from a year earlier to $2.4 billion in its fiscal third quarter ended February 29, in line with its own forecasts. It had forecast that new software sales would climb between 0 to 10 percent from a year earlier when it last reported earnings on December 20.

Hewlett Packard Co CEO Meg Whitman plans to combine the computing giant’s PC and printing divisions in a major internal overhaul intended to spur combined sales of hardware to customers.

Soda sales have been declining for the past seven years, but the pace of the decline quickened in 2011 despite growth in the overall beverage market. Americans continue to guzzle more bottled water, ready-to-drink tea and coffee, sports drinks and energy drinks, rather than sip on soda and fruit juices, according to beverage statistics released Tuesday.

U.S. crude-oil futures lost ground Tuesday. Crude-oil futures for April delivery fell $2.48, or 2.3%, to settle at $105.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.






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