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Wall Street down again ... US home prices up, but at slower pace ... Consumer confidence down

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NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is trying to keep its head above water today, following yesterday's losses. At 10:50 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 was up 4 points, at 1,982. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 32 points, at 17,104. And the Nasdaq composite was up 8 points, to 4,514.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices increased in July at the slowest pace in 20 months, reflecting sluggish sales and a greater supply of homes for sale. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 6.7 percent in July from 12 months earlier. That's down from an 8.1 percent gain in June and the smallest increase since November 2012.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence dropped in September after hitting the highest level in nearly seven years in August. The Conference Board says its confidence index fell to 86.0, the first decline after four months of gains. It fell from a revised 93.4 in August, which had been the highest level since autumn 2007 before the Great Recession officially began in December 2007. Conference Board economists say the decline reflects a less positive view of the current state of the job market.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — PayPal is splitting from EBay and will become a separate and publicly traded company next year. The separation is expected to happen in the second half of 2015. The move comes after months of pressure from activist investor and billionaire Carl Icahn (EYE'-kahn). PayPal has been EBay's fastest growing segment. Dan Schulman, the president of the enterprise growth group at American Express, will be the new president at PayPal, effective immediately.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is buying the biopharmaceutical company Alios BioPharma Inc. for about $1.75 billion. Alios is a privately held company that focuses on developing therapies for viral diseases. The acquisition is targeted to close in the fourth quarter.

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