Stocks Dip at Open amid Fed Talk

U.S. stocks slipped at the open on Tuesday, furthering a retreat from record highs, after one Federal Reserve official reportedly said central-bank reductions in its monthly asset purchases could come as soon as September. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average lately fell 87.75 points, or 0.56%, to 15,524.38. The S&P 500 index lost 6.28 points, or 0.37%, to 1,700.86. The Nasdaq Composite declined 12.53 points, or 0.34%, to 3,680.42.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in June to its lowest level in more than 3-1/2 years as imports reversed the prior month’s spike, suggesting an upward revision to second-quarter growth. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap fell 22.4 percent to $34.2 billion, the smallest since October 2009. The percentage decline was the largest since February 2009.

Americans are keeping their cars and trucks longer than ever, and even with new car sales increasing, the average age will continue to rise, an industry research firm says. The average age of the 247 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads hit a
record of 11.4 years in January, the latest figures available from state registration data gathered by the Polk research firm.

Chalk it up as an unintended consequence of Obamacare: a growing number of U.S. employers are aiming to cut their healthcare costs by shifting retirees into the law’s new public insurance exchanges, which launch this October.

CVS Caremark Corp’s (CVS) second-quarter profit rose slightly more than Wall Street expected, as profit growth at the pharmacy benefits management unit outpaced its drugstores. CVS earned $1.12 billion, or 91 cents per share, in the quarter, up from $966 million, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.

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