Stocks Opened Lower, Weighed Down by Apple, Microsoft

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday after disappointing results from technology heavyweights Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The Dow Jones industrial average lately fell 19.61 points, or 0.11%, to 17,899.68. The S&P 500 was down 3.81 points, or 0.18%, to 2,115.40 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 37.19 points, or 0.71%, to 5,170.93.

Coca-Cola has reported a rise in profit after raising prices in North America. Earnings rose 20% to $3.1bn (£2bn) in the second quarter, compared to a year ago. Total revenue fell more than 3% to $12.16bn in the three months to 3 July.

Home Depot Inc said it agreed to buy home repair and maintenance product seller Interline Brands Inc for $1.63 billion. The all-cash deal is expected to be completed in Home Depot’s quarter ending Nov. 1 and will add to its earnings in the current financial year, the company said.

The National Retail Federation, the biggest U.S. retail association, cut its forecast for retail sales growth in the country this year, citing an unexpected slowdown in growth in the first half of the year. The NRF now expects U.S. retail sales to grow 3.5 percent in 2015, lower than the 4.1 percent growth it forecast in February.

BlackBerry Ltd. said Wednesday it agreed to buy closely held software provider AtHoc, the smartphone maker’s latest niche acquisition in its bid to reignite revenue from sales of mobile software and security offerings to government and corporate customer.

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