STOCKS DROP: Here's what you need to know

Stocks slipped in trading on Tuesday and the S&P 500 briefly lost its gains for August. The dollar rallied, while crude oil prices fell.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 18,435.29, -67.70, (-0.37%)
  • S&P 500: 2,173.42, -6.96, (-0.32%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,213.29, -19.04, (-0.36%)
  1. The European Union ordered Apple to pay up to a record €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in taxes to Ireland. The EU’s competition commissioner said the country gave Apple “illegal tax benefits.” Apple said the decision will harm investment and job creation in Europe. Apple shares fell 1%.
  2. In economic data, home prices in 20 major US cities fell for a third straight month in June. S&P/Case-Shiller’s 20-city index was -0.1% month-on-month, and 5.1% year-on-year. Nationally, home prices continued to rise.
  3. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index jumped to 101.1 in August, the highest since last September. The share of people saying jobs were “plentiful” increased from 23% to 26%, the highest since January 2008.
  4. Billionaires Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman are still bickering over Herbalife. Ackman holds a big short position in the company while Icahn is bullish. “If anyone should feel boxed in, it’s Ackman,” Icahn told The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Icahn was discussing selling his shares. Hours later, he announced he bought 2.3 million shares.
  5. The government announced some changes to try to fix Obamacare. The 14 proposals include using some of the fees from the federally funded marketplace for outreach to get more young people to sign up, and accounting for prescription-drug use when evaluating the risk profile of potential patients. Major insurers pulled out of Obamacare in recent weeks.


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