Stocks Opened Mixed after Trade Deficit Data

U.S. stocks opened mixed on Wednesday as trade deficit widened slightly and Congress head for vote on Syria. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 15.23 points, or 0.20%, to 14,849.19. The S&P 500 index climbed 4.46 points, or 0.27%, to 1,644.23. The Nasdaq Composite rose 13.46 points, or 0.37%, to 3,6226.07.

The Obama administration is facing a tougher examination of its plans for military intervention in Syria, squaring off against tea party Republicans and other skeptical House members a day after gaining Speaker John Boehner’s endorsement and significant support in the Senate.

The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly more than expected in July as exports dipped, but a rebound in imports pointed to some firming in underlying domestic demand early in the third quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade gap increased 13.3 percent to $39.1 billion.

Applications for U.S. home loans rose for the first time in four weeks as mortgage rates fell from their highest level this year, although demand for purchase loans slipped, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity rose 1.3 percent in the week ended August 30.

Chrysler Group LLC reported a 12 percent gain in U.S. August auto sales and predicted that the industry will continue on its hot streak. Chrysler said that it expects a seasonally adjusted sales rate for August of 16.1 million vehicles, including medium and heavy trucks.

Jarden, the consumer products company, is making a public offering of 11.6 million shares to help fund its $1.75 billion acquisition of Yankee Candle.

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