Consumer Companies Lower After Housing Data -- Consumer Roundup

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies declined after weak housing data.

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Overall housing starts slipped 0.8% in August from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million, driven by continued steep declines in multifamily building, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. "Details on the regional composition suggest that some, but not all, of the weakness in August could be explained by Hurricane Harvey, as builders would have prepared for the storm by pulling workers from projects ahead of time," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a research note. "The bottom line is that housing is an area that will be very difficult to peg over the next few months given the impact of the hurricanes."

Cereal maker Post Holdings agreed to buy packaged-foods company Bob Evans Farms for about $1.5 billion in cash.

Toys "R" Us filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, seeking to reorganize in a way that will lift the burden of debt piled on during a leveraged buyout.

Shares of suppliers such as Mattel and Hasbro rose as the filing ended weeks of uncertainty for the toy industry about plans for stocking the retailer's 1,600 stores around the world in time for the holiday season.

Best Buy amended its cost-cutting plan as it seeks to invest in the business to better compete with Amazon.com

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Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 19, 2017 17:43 ET (21:43 GMT)