Stocks Mildly Negative After Economic Reports

U.S.stocks were mildly negative in the early trading on Wednesday, following a weaker-than-expected housing starts report and ahead of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 11.44  points to 14,024.23. The S&P 500 shed 3.30 points to 1,527.64. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.17 points to 3,207.42.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that construction on new U.S. homes fell 8.5% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 890,000, below expectations.

A separate report from the Labor Department had the producer-price index rising 0.2% in January after a 0.3% decline the month before.

Toll Brothers Inc., the Horsham, Pa., home builder, swung to a fiscal-first-quarter profit from a year-earlier loss on 32% higher revenue. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, Toll earned $4.4 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2.8 million, or 2 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Shares outstanding rose 6.9% from a year earlier to 177.8 million. Revenue reached $424.6 million from $322 million.

Yahoo is renovating the main entry into its website in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and linger for longer periods of time. The long-awaited makeover of Yahoo.com’s home page is the most notable change to the website since the Internet company hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO seven months ago. The new look will start to gradually roll out in the U.S early Wednesday.

Boeing Co (BA) has found a way to fix battery problems with its grounded 787 Dreamliner jets which involves increasing the space between cells, a source familiar with the U.S. company’s plans told Reuters.

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