Stocks Opened Lower After Seven-Day Climb

U.S. stocks opened mildly lower on Tuesday following a seven-session winning run. The Dow was lately  off 0.53 points at 14,446.76. The S&P 500 index fell 1.62 points, or 0.10%, to 1,554.60. The Nasdaq Composite declined 4.18 points, or 0.13%, to 3,248.69.

Confidence among U.S. small businesses rose in February for a third month as more company leaders said they will invest in equipment and stockpiles. The National Federation of Independent Business’s optimism index improved 1.9 points to 90.8 last month from 88.9 in January. Eight of the measure’s 10 components increased, the Washington-based group said.

House Republicans would cut spending by $4.6 trillion over the next decade to balance the federal budget by 2023 without raising taxes. Some airlines are looking for short-term replacements for the grounded Boeing 787 as the busy summer travel season gets closer.

The head of Germany’s central bank is warning that the government debt crisis in the euro countries “isn’t over” despite recent improvements in financial markets.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is experimenting with punishments that more closely fit the wrongdoing at issue in a bid to give its enforcement cases more bite.

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