Stocks Slightly Lower, Goldman Sachs Profit Doubles

U.S. stocks fell slightly in the early trading on Tuesday, as investors watched economic reports and earnings from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and Johnson & Johnson. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately was off 15.24 points, or 0.10%, at 15,469.02. The S&P 500 index was down 2.26 points, or 0.13%, to 1,680.24. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.66 points, or 0.05%, to 3,605.83.

U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in June as gasoline prices jumped, but underlying inflation pressure remain benign against the backdrop of lukewarm domestic demand. The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.5 percent, the largest increase since February, after nudging up 0.1 percent in May. Gasoline prices accounted for about two thirds of the increase in the CPI.

Industrial production rose slightly more than expected in June as manufacturing output picked up speed. For the second quarter as a whole, industrial output rose 0.6 percent. Manufacturing output increased by 0.3 percent last month, beating economists expectation of a 0.1 percent rise, after an upwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in May.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s quarterly profit doubled as the bank made more money trading bonds before an interest-rate spike hit markets in June. Goldman’s net income rose to $1.86 billion (1.23 billion pounds), or $3.70 per share, in the second quarter from $927 million, or $1.78 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Coca-Cola’s profit dipped in the latest quarter as the world’s largest beverage maker sold less soda in its flagship North American market. The Atlanta-based company said Tuesday that global volume rose 1 percent in the quarter, helped by sales in countries including Vietnam and Indonesia. But in North America, it fell 1 percent, including a 4 percent drop in sodas.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on strong demand for its prescription drugs and medical devices. J&J posted a second-quarter gain of $213 million from the sale of Elan shares it acquired in 2009 as part of a deal to develop a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Apple is in early negotiations to buy Israel-based PrimeSense, a developer of chips that enable three-dimensional machine vision, for $280 million, the Calcalist new website said on Tuesday.

China’s Shuanghui International Holdings, which has agreed to buy U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc. for $4.7 billion, plans to list the combined company in Hong Kong after completing the takeover, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

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