Category: Economy / April 16, 2013 6:08 PM EDT
The cost of living in the U.S. declined in March for the first time in four months as the Labor Department announced Tuesday that consumer prices fell last month. The consumer-price index dropped 0.2 percent after a 0.7 percent jump in February.
A separate report showed housing starts jumped more than forecast in March, while building permits were down. Starts rose 7 percent to a 1.04 million annual rate, the most since June 2008, following a revised 968,000 annual rate in February that was larger than previously reported, Commerce Department data showed in Washington.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) reported a strong first quarter, but analysts were more concerned about the bank's future than the past three months. The bank earned $2.2 billion in the first quarter, up 5 percent from a year ago, according to The Associated Press.
Also on Tuesday,the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) earnings beat estimates and were boosted by emerging market sales, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced that profit in the first quarter dropped by over 10 percent due to increased sales being offset by higher costs.
After the close Tuesday, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) reported a widely expected drop in first-quarter earnings. For the quarter ended March 30, Intel reported net income of $2 billion, or 40 cents per share, compared with net income of $2.7 billion, or 53 cents per share, for the same period last year. In addition, Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) earnings beat expectations, but revenue disappointed as the company posted earnings excluding items of 38 cents a share, up from 24 cents a share in the year-earlier period.
Reports to keep an eye on for Wednesday include Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and global health care company Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) before the market opens, along with American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) after the market close.
On the economic calendar for Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book survey of economic conditions across the country.
(Video Source: REUTERS)