Stocks Opened Sharply Lower After China Devalued Yuan

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Tuesday as investors digested China’s surprise devaluation of the yuan overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 180.53 points, or 1.02%, to 17,434.64. The S&P 500 shed 16.51 points, or 0.78%, to 2,087.67. The Nasdaq Composite was off 28.21 points, or 0.55%, to 5,073.59.

China’s shock 2 percent devaluation of the yuan on Tuesday pushed the dollar higher and raised the prospect of a new round of currency wars. China’s move, which the central bank described as a “one-off depreciation” based on a new way of managing the exchange rate that better reflected market forces, triggered the yuan’s biggest fall since 1994, pushing it to its weakest against the dollar in almost three years.

U.S. worker productivity advanced at a modest pace this spring, reflecting only moderate economic growth despite steady hiring. The productivity of nonfarm workers, measured as the output of goods and services per hour worked, increased at a 1.3% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter, the Labor Department said Tuesday. From a year earlier, productivity was up 0.3%.

U.S. small business confidence rebounded in July from a 15-month low as owners anticipated solid sales and inventory growth, providing another boost to the economic outlook for the third quarter.The National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.3 points to 95.4. About 1,495 businesses took part in the survey.

Carlyle Group LP agreed to buy Symantec Corp.’s Veritas data-storage unit for $8 billion in the biggest U.S. leveraged buyout this year.E quity for the deal will primarily come from Carlyle’s U.S. buyout fund and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Washington-based Carlyle said in a statement Tuesday.

Oil prices fell on Tuesday after China devalued its currency in its latest effort to prop up economic growth. Front-month Brent futures were down 71 cents at $49.70 a barrel at 1110 GMT.

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