Quiet market day ends with mixed results
A subdued day of trading on Wall Street ended Tuesday with stocks closing mostly lower even as the Nasdaq composite notched another record high. Utilities, phone companies and other high-dividend paying stocks were among the biggest decliners. Energy stocks also fell along with a drop in the price of crude oil. Technology companies climbed the most. Financials also eked out a small gain. Investors sized up the latest crop of company earnings and new data on home construction and industrial production. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 1.65 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,400.67. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 2.19 points, or 0.01 percent, to 20,979.75. The Nasdaq gained 20.20 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,169.87. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks rose 0.76 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,394.68.
Philadelphia sues Wells, citing loan bias
Philadelphia is suing Wells Fargo & Co., claiming the San Francisco-based bank overcharged more than 1,000 minority homeowners on mortgage loans since 2004. Philly.com reported that the federal lawsuit cites six confidential informants who used to work for the bank. The lawsuit says unnecessarily expensive loans drove black and Latino borrowers toward foreclosure, costing the city unpaid taxes and lowering property values. Wells Fargo spokesman James Baum said the city’s allegations are “unsubstantiated” and “do not reflect how we operate in Philadelphia” and elsewhere.
U.S. housing starts fell again during April
Construction of new homes fell for a second straight month in April, pushing activity to the lowest point in five months. Housing starts fell 2.6 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That followed a 6.6 percent decline in March and left homebuilding at its lowest point since last November. The weakness was led by a big drop in construction of apartments, a volatile sector.