Stocks Opened Lower After Three-Day Rally

U.S. stocks began lower on Wednesday, with investors sidelined after a three-session win streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 12.79 points to 13,155.81. The S&P 500 index shed 2.25 points to 1,399.10. The Nasdaq Composite lost 8.36 points to 3,007.50.

U.S. productivity rebounded in the second quarter, posting a solid gain as companies generated more goods and services even though there was little change in the number of hours their employees worked. The Labor Department said Wednesday that productivity rose 1.6% in the April-to-June period, a sharp contrast to the first quarter’s revised decline of 0.5%. 

The governor of the Bank of England on Wednesday criticized a New York state agency for accusing Standard Chartered bank of money laundering before other regulators had completed their own investigations. On Monday, the New York State Department of Financial Services accused the British bank of laundering $250 billion of Iranian oil money. The bank admits violations of no more than $14 million.

McDonald’s Corp. says a key revenue figure came in flat in July as diners pulled back amid a tough economy. In the U.S., the company said its promotions failed to drive growth, and revenue at restaurant open at least 13 months dipped 0.1 percent.The figure dipped 0.6 percent in Europe.  It fell 1.5 percent in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region — a key growth area for McDonald’s.

Macy’s Inc. is reporting a nearly 16 percent increase in net income for its second quarter as the department store chain continues to benefit from its strategy to tailor its merchandise to local markets.  Its net income rose to $279 million, or 67 cents per share, for the three-month period ended July 28. That’s up from $241 million, or 55 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 3 percent to $6.12 billion in the quarter.

Ralph Lauren Corp. said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income rose 5 percent, but the clothing and home goods maker forecast a revenue decline in the current quarter. Net income from April through June was $193.4 million, or $2.03 per share. That compares with net income of $184.1 million, or $1.90 per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 4 percent to $1.59 billion from $1.53 billion. Analysts expected $1.58 billion.

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