Stocks slip…New home sales down…United Technologies plans to hire 35,000
NEW YORK (AP) – Stock indexes are lower in early trading on Wall Street after a weak finish yesterday. Energy and industrial companies are taking some of the worst losses. Target is sliding after big investments in its operations cut into its first-quarter profit. Jewelry company Tiffany is climbing after a strong report.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new U.S. homes fell 1.5 percent in April, as buying plunged in the West. The Commerce Department says new homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 662,000. Sales tumbled 7.9 percent in the West and were essentially unchanged in the Midwest and South. But sales improved 11.1 percent in the Northeast. The median sales price of a new home rose 0.4 percent from a year ago to $312,400. But the average price shot up 11.3 percent because more people bought new homes worth more than $750,000.
FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) – United Technologies plans to hire 35,000 people and invest more than $15 billion in the U.S. over the next five years. The company says most of the hiring will be due to retirements and normal turnover, but it anticipates several thousand will be new jobs. It says the investment will go toward research and development and capital expenditures. United Technologies has more than 200,000 employees in over 75 countries. It currently has 67,000 workers in the U.S.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Comcast says it’s considering making an offer to buy Twenty-First Century Fox, which would put it in a head-to-head bidding fight with Disney. Comcast didn’t give any details on the offer, other than to say that it would be all cash and at a premium to the value of Disney’s current all-stock offer.
NEW YORK (AP) – Target has posted weaker-than-expected profits for the first quarter as it pushes through a costly overhaul. Traffic growth in stores reached levels not seen in a decade and comparable-store sales jumped a solid 3 percent, but those bright spots were overshadowed by the profit numbers. The retailer reported a profit of $718 million, or $1.33 per share. Earnings, adjusted for pretax gains and to account for discontinued operations, were $1.32 per share, far short of the $1.38 expected on Wall Street.