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Stocks flat...Builders less confident...WTO rules against US meat labels



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are little changed in early trading on Wall Street as the market comes off its latest record high. The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday. Several stocks are moving on news of acquisitions. Ann Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft, jumped after it agreed to be acquired by The Ascena Retail Group.

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident about their sales prospects after a sluggish start to the spring home-selling season. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped to 54 this month, down two points from 56 in April. Measures of current sales conditions and traffic by prospective buyers also fell, but the outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months edged higher. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down a Maryland tax that has the effect of double-taxing income residents earned in other states. The justices agreed Monday with a lower court that the tax is unconstitutional because it discourages Maryland residents from earning money outside the state. The 5-4 ruling means the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Maryland and affects similar laws in other states, including New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Trade Organization has ruled against U.S. labels on packaged steaks and other cuts of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the WTO rejected a final U.S. appeal, deciding the U.S. "country of origin" labels put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage. The ruling is a victory for the U.S. meat industry, which challenged the labels as burdensome.

LONDON (AP) — Police in London are warning about the risks posed by counterfeit makeup. They say rat droppings and poisons have been found in fake cosmetics, which are often produced in unsanitary conditions. Police say using bogus products can cause skin irritation, swelling, burns and even long-term health problems.

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The Associated Press

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