U.S. stocks were slightly lower in early trading Tuesday in what looks to be another quiet day as the summer comes to an end. Hershey plunged after the company walked away from a merger proposal, and Apple slipped after the company was hit with a large tax bill in Europe.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,462 as of 10:12 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,177 and the Nasdaq composite edged down 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,228.
DEAL’S OFF: Hershey fell $12.46, or 11 percent, to $99.21 after snack food company Mondelez International said it was walking away from its proposal to buy Hershey for roughly $25 billion. Mondelez, which makes Oreo cookies and other snack foods, initially proposed to buy the company earlier this summer, but Hershey is a notoriously difficult company to propose mergers with since the majority of the shares are controlled by a non-profit organization.
TAXMAN COMETH: Apple fell 85 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $105.95 after the European Union ruled that it has to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland. Both Apple and Ireland said they would appeal the decision, which is the EU’s latest and most aggressive move in its campaign to have multinationals pay a fair tax rate.
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT: United Continental rose $2.50, or 5 percent, to $49.45 after the company announced it was hiring a former American Airlines executive, Scott Kirby, to become United’s new president and take over the day-to-day operations of the company.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil was little changed at $46.93 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, fell 20 cents to $49.25 a barrel.
JOBS: Investors are awaiting the Labor Department’s monthly jobs survey on Friday for signs on whether the U.S. economy remains on solid footing. Economists expect employers added 182,500 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.8 percent.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices were mostly unchanged. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.56 percent. The dollar rose to 102.78 yen from 101.98 yen late Monday. The euro slipped to $1.1142 from $1.1187.
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