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Stock Market News Today, September 3, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 30 points Tuesday after a rash of geopolitical concerns hit markets, and crude oil prices slipped to a 15-month low. Rising concerns in Pakistan, Iraq, and Ukraine outweighed positive news on the U.S. economy. According to reports released today, U.S. factory orders struck a near four-year high in August, while the housing industry saw construction spending increase by 1.8% in July. U.S. construction spending is now at a five-and-a-half-year high.
This morning, U.S. futures and European stocks were on the rise as hopes for a ceasefire in Ukraine emerged. The European Union (EU) is hoping to avoid issuing further sanctions on Russia following the invasion of eastern Ukraine.
Here's what you should know to make your Wednesday profitable:
- Celebrity Scandal: Tech-giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has slipped into defense mode this week as the company attempts to deflect responsibility and accusations that its iCloud is at fault for a rash of celebrity hackings that resulted in the release of private photos. The hacking has affected a number of Hollywood A-listers, including Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, and raised new questions about privacy in the twenty-first century. The story is inconvenient for Apple, as the company's stock was on the rise due to growing excitement about an expected product launch on September 9.
- The Bigger Breach: Shares of The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) remained resilient in the face of a potential data breach impacting customers across the country. The country's top home improvement retailer is currently investigating "unusual activity" that might suggest a significant data breach, and its spokesperson said it would begin contacting affected customers when the company reaches a conclusion. The potential breach is yet another high-profile hacking to affect a major U.S. retailer in the past year.
- Retail Shift: In an effort to shift its product and service line to better align with health and wellness goals of consumers, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain has changed its name and ceased the sales of tobacco products sooner than expected. CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS) has changed its corporate name to CVS Health. The company also announced a program to help customers stop smoking and boost anti-tobacco education. The immediate decision to stop selling tobacco products, originally slated for October 1, is expected to cost the company approximately $2 billion in gross profits annually.