Sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dealing a setback to the housing market recovery. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales dropped 14.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, declining for a second consecutive month. The housing market has been slammed by an unusually cold winter, higher mortgage interest rates and a shortage of properties that is limiting options for potential buyers. Data on Tuesday showing a mild decline in home resales last month had offered hope the housing market could be stabilizing.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped at the open on Wednesday despite upbeat corporate earnings as buyers appeared scarce following the longest streak of daily gains on the S&P 500 so far this year. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.02 points, or 0.05 percent, to 16,505.35, the S&P 500 lost 2.15 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,877.4 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.926 points, or 0.29 percent, to 4,149.531. The S&P 500 rose for a sixth straight session on Tuesday. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Peter Galloway)
The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in April though the rate of growth was slightly lower than expected as inventories fell, but factory output growth hit its fastest pace in three years, an industry report showed on Wednesday. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary or "flash" U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index dipped to 55.4 in April from 55.5 in March.
(Reuters) - Some HBO shows and the Internet streaming service HBO Go will be available next month to Amazon Prime customers, the companies said on Wednesday in a move that could lure customers away from Netflix Inc. The companies said this was the first time HBO, the premium cable channel owned by Time Warner Inc, had licensed its programming to an online subscription streaming service. Netflix customers have not been able to watch HBO shows on that service. Amazon Prime customers will have access to the HBO programming on May 21, but most of it will first be older shows such as "The Sopranos" and "The Wire," or a smattering of earlier seasons from current series such as "True Blood." HBO said episodes of shows such as "Girls," "The Newsroom" and "Veep" will be not be available until three years after it shows them.
Rising jet production helped Boeing Co post a 14 percent rise in adjusted net profit in the first quarter, beating estimates, and the company notched up its full-year forecast. On a non-adjusted basis, however, Boeing's profit slid 13 percent to $965 million, or $1.28 per share, down from $1.11 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year earlier, the company reported on Wednesday. But analysts pointed to strong cashflow generation and Boeing's increase in share buy-backs in the quarter as reasons to push the stock higher. They also saw widening operating profit margins to 11.8 percent in Boeing's commercial aircraft business as a sign of strength, even though the backlog of orders slipped from the beginning of the year.