Stocks edge lower on Wall Street; Coke sinks
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks have been moving lower on Wall Street as the latest batch of corporate earnings fail to impress investors.
Coca-Cola has fallen 2 percent, the biggest drop in the Dow, after reporting a slump in North American soda sales.
Overall, the Dow was down about 50 points in afternoon trading. The broader indexes also are lower, threatening to end the S&P's eight-session winning streak.
US homebuilder confidence, sales outlook soar
U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic about their home sales prospects than they have in more than seven years, a trend that suggests home construction will accelerate in coming months.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index jumped to 57 this month from 51 in June.
A reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The index hasn't been that high since January 2006, well before the housing market crashed.
Measures of customer traffic, current sales conditions and builders' outlook for single-family home sales over the next six months vaulted to their highest levels in at least seven years.
Steady job growth, low mortgage rates, rising home prices and tight supplies of homes for sale have supported a recovery in housing this year.
US factories increase output in June for 2nd month
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories cranked out more business equipment, home electronics and autos last month, boosting manufacturing output for the second straight month.
The Federal Reserve says factory production rose 0.3 percent in June from May. That followed a 0.2 percent gain the previous month. Still, the two months of gains barely offset drops in March and April. Manufacturing output is up just 1.8 percent over the past year.
Overall industrial production, which includes factories, mines and utilities, also rose 0.3 percent in June. Mining output increased 0.8 percent, and utility output slid 0.1 percent.
Manufacturing, the most critical component of industrial production, has struggled this year, providing little support to the economy. A recession in Europe and a slowdown in China have reduced demand for U.S. goods.
US consumer prices up 0.5 pct. in June on gas hike
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure of U.S. consumer prices rose in June, pushed higher by a sharp increase in gas prices. But the overall trend in inflation stayed tame.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index increased 0.5 percent in June from May. Two-thirds of the increase came from a 6.3 percent jump in gas prices, the largest since February. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called core prices rose just 0.2 percent.
Consumer prices have risen just 1.8 percent over the past 12 months. And core prices are up just 1.6 percent in that period -- the smallest 12-month change in two years
Low inflation has given the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low in an effort to boost the economy.
Goldman doubles profit, helped by underwriting
NEW YORK (AP) -- Goldman Sachs says its second-quarter profit doubled and revenue jumped 30 percent, helped by gains in stock and bond underwriting and the bank's own investments.
Goldman's stock rose in pre-market trading after the bank released its earnings results with rosy headline numbers. But the stock dipped by the time the market opened, as Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz faced a barrage of questions about impending capital rules and other hard-to-predict factors that could affect the bank's future earnings.
Capital requirements have been the topic du jour as big financial companies have reported second-quarter earnings over the past few days. U.S. regulators announced last week that they were considering requiring U.S. banks to hold greater amounts of capital as a cushion against potential problems.
Goldman's second-quarter was $1.9 billion after payments to preferred shareholders. That works out to $3.70 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected $2.83.
Coca-Cola's profit dips amid weak volume growth
NEW YORK (AP) -- Coca-Cola says it profit dipped in the latest quarter, as the world's largest beverage maker blamed bad weather and challenging economic conditions for weak volume growth.
The Atlanta-based company, which makes Sprite, Powerade and Dasani, says global volume rose 1 percent in the period. But in its flagship North American market, volume declined 1 percent, including a 4 percent drop in sodas.
Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard tells CNBC that the soda industry is "susceptible to weather," and a relatively cold, wet few months has leads people to drink less.