Stocks Fluctuated, US Housing Starts Jumped

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Tuesday, as new residential construction in the U.S. surged in April to the highest level in more than seven years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately slipped 14.78 points, or 0.08%, to 18,284.10. The S&P 500 was off 0.52 point, or 0.02%, to 2,128.68. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4.06 points, or 0.08%, to 5,082.50.

New residential construction in the U.S. surged in April to the highest level in more than seven years, indicating the industry regained its footing after the soft patch at the beginning of the year.Housing starts jumped 20.2 percent to a 1.14 million annualized rate, the most since November 2007, from a 944,000 pace in March, a Commerce Department report showed Tuesday.

Walmart’s (WMT) first-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations as higher worker pay and a stronger dollar hit the retailer’s profit. Walmart reported revenue of $114 billion, down 0.1% from the same quarter a year ago. The company reported income of $3.34 billion and earned $1.03 a share. That’s compared to $3.59 billion and $1.11 a share in the same quarter last year.

Investment banking revenues in the second quarter for eight of the top banks could fall 15 percent from the previous quarter, as income from rates trading tumbles, JPMorgan analysts said on Tuesday.

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