Stocks fall for a fourth day as investors worry

NEW YORK — Wall Street couldn’t shrug off doubts about the economy and government gridlock on Tuesday. Mixed economic reports and concern about a government shutdown dragged stocks lower in the final half-hour of trading.

The modest losses extended the losing streak for the S&P 500 index to four days, its longest run of declines in a month. The Dow Jones industrial average also dropped for a fourth straight day.

Investors struggled with conflicting news Tuesday. One report showed that home prices in July rose the most in more than seven years. Another showed Americans’ confidence in the economy slipped in September.

The Dow fell 66.79 to close at 15,334.59. The S&P 500 fell 4.42 to 1,697.42. The Nasdaq edged up 2.97 to 3,768.25.

Senior Blackbaud exec to step down on Oct. 3

A top executive at Charleston software giant Blackbaud Inc. is leaving. Jana B. Eggers, senior vice president for products and marketing, is stepping down Oct. 3, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. No reason was given.

Eggers has joined the Daniel Island company in November 2010. Previously, she was chief executive officer of Germany-based Spreadshirt.

Her resignation follows the decision by Blackbaud’s board to appoint finance chief Anthony Boor as interim CEO. He replaced Marc Chardon, who announced in January that he would leave the company by the end of this year. He left Aug. 31.

Boor is running the company until the board can hire a permanent CEO. He also remains chief financial officer of Blackbaud, which designs software for nonprofit organizations.

Lennar 3Q profit rises; orders, deliveries climb

Lennar’s third-quarter net income rose 39 percent to $120.7 million as its home deliveries and new orders continued to climb. Revenue climbed 46 percent to $1.6 billion. Wall Street was looking for $1.55 billion.

CEO Stuart Miller said the builder is seeing demand being driven by a limited supply of new homes built over the past five years.

“While there may be bumps along the road that may impact the short-term pace of the recovery, the long-term outlook for our business remains extremely bright,” he said.

Deliveries increased 37 percent to 4,990 homes, while new orders rose 14 percent to 4,785. The average sales price increased 16 percent. Backlog, an indicator of potential future revenue, climbed 32 percent to 5,958 homes.

The company sells homes for entry-level and move-up buyers as well as retirees. It has operations in the Charleston region.

S. Korea rejects fighter jet proposed by Boeing

SEOUL — South Korea rejected Boeing’s bid to supply 60 fighter jets in the country’s largest-ever weapons purchase, even though it was the sole remaining bidder. The country will reopen the bidding process.

Boeing had offered its F-15 Silent Eagle, but South Korean critics have said the warplane lacks state-of-the-art stealth capabilities and cannot effectively cope with North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats.

Burger King launching lower-calorie french fry

NEW YORK — Burger King wants people to feel less guilty about gobbling up its french fries. The world’s No. 2 burger chain launched a new crinkle-cut french fry Tuesday that it says has about 20 percent fewer calories than its regular fries.

The chain says a small order of the new “Satisfries” clocks in at 270 calories because of a new batter that doesn’t absorb as much oil. By comparison, a small order of its regular fries, sans crinkles, has 340 calories.

Staff and wire reports