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Stocks slide ... Jobless claims fall ... Mortgage rates slip

October 19, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies led a slide in U.S. stocks early today as the market pulled back from its latest record highs. Cruise lines, fast-food restaurants and other consumer-focused companies also declined. The S&P 500 index fell 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,550 as of 10:14 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 81 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,076. The Nasdaq composite slid 54 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,570.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in 44 years, another sign that most workers enjoy job security. The Labor Department says claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000, fewest since March 1973. The less volatile four-week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250, lowest since late August.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates slipped this week, reversing two straight weekly increases. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.88 percent from 3.91 percent last week. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.52 percent.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Unilever, the consumer products giant that owns brands including Dove, Lipton and Knorr, was buffeted by bad weather in the United States and Europe and a strong euro in the third quarter. The company said today that its sales fell 1.6 percent from the same period last year to 13.2 billion euros ($15.6 billion).

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss food and drinks company Nestle says sales have dipped slightly in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period of 2016, citing net divestments and negative foreign currency effects. The vendor of Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine and Nespresso products reported organic growth increased 2.6 percent in the period.

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