Stocks end lower again on economic concerns
NEW YORK — Stocks fell Tuesday as investors awaiting next week's Federal Reserve meeting remained uneasy that fallout from the slumping housing market could cause more bank losses and pull the economy into recession.
Adding to investor worries, JPMorgan downgraded its ratings on major investment bankers.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 65.84, or 0.49 percent, to 13,248.73. The S&P 500 lost 9.63, or 0.65 percent, to 1,462.79.
The Nasdaq composite index fell 17.30, or 0.66 percent, to 2,619.83.
H&R Block ends deal to sell mortgage business
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cerberus Capital Management and H&R Block said Tuesday they ended their deal for Cerberus to buy Block's mortgage unit, which has stopped accepting new applications.
Block said it will lay off about 620 employees, close three offices and take a $75 million restructuring charge as it shuts down Option One Mortgage Corp.
Dow Chemical making cuts to boost efficiency
DETROIT — Dow Chemical announced Tuesday it is cutting 1,000 jobs, or about 2.3 percent of its work force, as part of a plan to rid itself of underperforming businesses and boost its global efficiency.
The company, one of the nation's biggest chemical makers, said it will quit the automotive sealers business within the next nine to 18 months in North America, Asia and Latin America. It will look at options in its European operations.
Credit agency Moody's lowers rating on Scana
COLUMBIA — Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday lowered its rating on Scana Corp.'s investment-grade senior unsecured debt to Baa1 from A3, citing expectations of a weakening financial profile because of major planned capital spending by the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.
In a release, Scana said it understood the downgrade but was "pleased with our overall credit ratings."
CFO: Beazer is lowering prices, but not too much
ATLANTA — Beazer Homes USA Inc. will continue offering discounts to move inventory in a sluggish market, but financial and internal troubles aren't forcing the company into a fire sale, a senior executive said Tuesday.
Beazer, a major builder in the Charleston region, has been beset by turmoil in the housing industry that has caused its number of home closings to plunge. It said it cut 650 jobs in October and suspended its quarterly dividend.