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Stocks lower...Retail sales rise...Homebuilders more confident

May 15, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are broadly lower in early trading, led by declines in technology, health care and consumer-focused companies. The slide put the Dow Jones industrial average on track to end an eight-day winning streak. Bond prices fell, sending yields to the highest level since 2011, after the government reported a solid increase in U.S. retail sales last month.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace last month, a sign that consumers are rebounding from weak spending in the first three months of the year and driving better economic growth. The Commerce Department says retail sales increased 0.3 percent in April, down from a 0.8 percent gain in March, which was revised higher. The spending gains were spread across most retail categories, with big gains at furniture and clothing stores.

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. homebuilders are feeling more confident about their sales prospects, reflecting strong demand for newly built homes with existing homes in short supply. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released today rose two points to 70 this month. That’s up from a revised reading of 68 in April. That ends a four-month slide for builders.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber’s ride-hailing service will give its U.S. passengers and drivers more leeway to pursue claims of sexual misconduct, its latest attempt to reverse its reputation for brushing aside bad behavior. The shift announced today will allow riders and drivers to file allegations of rape and other sexual misconduct in courts and mediation instead of being locked into an arbitration hearing.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers are being sold for an NFL-record $2.2 billion. Hedge fund manager David Tepper has agreed to buy the Panthers from team founder Jerry Richardson, according to people familiar with the situation. The purchase is subject to a vote at the NFL owners meeting next week in Atlanta.