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Stocks mixed...Consumer spending up a little...EPA finds Harvey damage at Houston Superfund site

September 29, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are off to a mixed start on Wall Street as gains in big technology companies are partly offset by losses in energy and industrial stocks. Tyson Foods is climbing after it gave strong profit forecasts, and investors cheered strong quarterly results from homebuilder KB Home. Stocks were at record highs heading into the final trading day of the third quarter.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers barely boosted their spending in August, a sign that overall economic activity could be weaker this quarter. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent, the smallest gain since June. Income growth slowed to a gain of just 0.2 percent. Wages and salaries, the biggest component, showed no gain at all after strong increases in June and July. A measure of inflation closely watched by the Federal Reserve posted a slight 0.2 percent increase.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says an unknown amount of a dangerous chemical linked to birth defects and cancer may have washed downriver from a Houston-area Superfund site during the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. The EPA says a sample collected by an agency dive team from the exposed area showed dioxins levels at 70,000 nanograms per kilogram — more than 2,300 times the level set to trigger a cleanup. It has ordered the companies responsible for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits site to take immediate action.

NEW YORK (AP) — Whole Foods says the credit and debit card information of customers who bought meals or drinks at its in-store restaurants or bars were exposed to hackers. The grocer says the data breach did not affect its main checkout registers or any Amazon.com shoppers. Whole Foods did not say which of its 470 stores were affected.

NEW YORK (AP) — Just over a year after Walmart spent more than $3 billion for the fast-growing online retailer Jet.com, it will launch a higher-end grocery line targeting millennials as it tries to contain Amazon.com. Jet.com says the new brand, called Uniquely J, will focus on younger customers in urban areas, offering them select coffee, olive oil, paper towels, and other products. Amazon last month closed on its acquisition of Whole Foods, intensifying the competition between Walmart, Target, and other supermarkets as all of them fight to win a bigger slice of the grocery market.

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