Stocks are mostly falling in midday trading on Tuesday as investors sift through economic reports and company earnings. Six of the 10 sectors of the Standard and Poor’s 500 index are lower. Utilities and consumer goods companies are dropping the most after the market made sizable gains the day before. Consolidated Edison fell 2 percent and Kraft Heinz lost 3 percent.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 44 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,667 at 12:06 p.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500 index fell four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,062. The Nasdaq composite index slipped seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,768.
LOSING LENDER: LendingClub plunged another 10 percent after the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the company, which forced out its founder last week after an internal review found irregularities with the way loans were sold. The stock plunged 41 cents to $3.52.
TECH GAIN: Agilent Technologies rose $1.40, or 3 percent, to $44.34 after the maker of scientific instruments reported second-quarter results that were better than expected. Earnings per share, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 44 cents versus the 39 cents analysts expected.
INFLATION WATCH: U.S. consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in April compared with the month before, the largest amount in more than three years. Compared with the year before, overall prices rose 1.1 percent. The Federal Reserve will weigh the inflation figures when it meets in June to decide whether to increase interest rates.
MAKING MORE THINGS: U.S. industrial production posted the biggest increase in April since November 2014 after dropping the previous two months. Industrial output, which includes output at factories, mines and utilities, rose 0.7 percent from March. Still, production is modest. Factories are operating at 75.3 percent of capacity, well below their long-run average.
THE QUOTE: “We’ve got an economy in slow-down mode, with an increase in inflation,” said James Abate, chief investment officer at Centre Funds. “That is the worst possible situation.”
RETAILER RISES AGAIN: TJX Cos. rose 1.80, or 2 percent, to $76.99 after reporting first-quarter earnings of 76 cents per share, six cents more than analysts had expected. The owner of TJ Maxx stores and Marshalls also reported higher-than-expected sales. The stock is up 8 percent since the start of 2016.
MORE HOMES: Builders ramped up construction of new homes in April, suggesting the market remains solid despite sluggish economic growth. Housing starts climbed 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units. Beazer Homes jumped 4 percent and Hovnanian Enterprises rose 2.5 percent.
EUROPE’S DAY: France’s CAC 40 fell 0.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX shed 0.6 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.1 percent as the yen continued to weaken, a plus for Japanese exporters. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.2 percent.
ENERGY: U.S. crude rose 41 cents to $48.13 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 30 cents to $49.27 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices didn’t move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.75 percent. The dollar rose to 109.00 yen from 108.98 yen and the euro rose to $1.1337 from $1.1320.