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Retailers, railroads lead stocks lower...Best Buy's holiday sales down...Homebuilders still upbeat

Thursday - 1/16/2014, 3:32pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Retailers and railroads are taking some of the biggest hits on Wall Street today. Investors are reacting to disappointing earnings from Best Buy and a poor outlook from CSX. The Dow was down nearly 75 points in afternoon trading, while the S&P 500 was a few points below yesterday's record high close. The Nasdaq has been wavering between small gains and losses.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Shares in Best Buy are sharply lower today after the consumer electronics retailer reported a 0.8 percent drop in sales during the holiday shopping season. Analysts had been expecting growth. President and CEO Hubert Joly (HYOO'-behr joh-LEE') says there was a lot of competition on price during the holidays and an "intensely promotional" environment. He says Best Buy's business was also hurt by supply constraints for key products, a drop in customer traffic and a disappointing mobile phone market.

UNDATED (AP) -- U.S. homebuilders have lost a little confidence in the housing market this month, but remain generally upbeat. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index dipped to 56. That's down from December's reading of 57, but any reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Treasury Department says it plans to sell 410,000 shares of Ally Financial for $3 billion as part of its ongoing effort to recoup the costs of the financial bailout. After the completion of the stock sale, the department says the U.S. government will have recovered about $15.3 billion, or 89 percent of the $17.2 billion it provided to Ally during the financial crisis. The government will still hold about 37 percent of the bank holding company's stock.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- The Carlyle Group is offering Johnson & Johnson $4.15 billion for its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business. Ortho-Clinical makes equipment for screening blood supplies and detecting and diagnosing conditions such as HIV, diabetes and high cholesterol. Johnson & Johnson says it will consult with works councils and trade unions representing the unit's employees before making a decision. It has until the end of March to accept the offer.

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