Stocks Began Lower Despite Housing Starts Jumped

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday despite U.S housing construction surged 15% in September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 33.63 points, or 0.25%, to 13,518.15. The S&P 500 index was up nearly 1 point to 1,455.75. The Nasdaq Composite shed 4.33 points, or 0.14%,  to 3,096.84.

U.S. builders started construction on single-family homes and apartments in September at the fastest rate since July 2008, a further indication that the housing recovery is strengthening. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that builders broke ground on homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September. That’s an increase of 15 percent from the August level.

Amazon.com Inc announced an initiative on Wednesday to get its Kindle e-readers and tablet computers into schools, entering a market that has been particularly successful for rival Apple Inc and its iPad device.

Bank of America reported a $340 million profit that was better than expected, but revenue missed analysts’ expectations on Wednesday. Revenue decreased to $20.4 billion from $28.45 billion a year ago.

PepsiCo Inc.’s (PEP) net income dipped 5 percent in the third quarter, as the food and beverage maker poured more money into bolstering its flagship brands and developing new products that cater to shifting consumer tastes. For the period ended Sept. 8, PepsiCo said it earned $1.9 billion, or $1.21 per share. That’s compared with $2 billion, or $1.25 per share, a year ago. Earnings from core operations were $1.20 per share, better than the $1.16 per share analysts

expected.

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