U.S. stocks began trading lower on Tuesday as investors reacted to disappointing government data on inflation and housing. Consumer prices rose sharply, while a drop in housing starts was larger than expected. Investors await the start of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy-setting meeting, which concludes on Wednesday. The S&P 500 opened 2 points, or 0.1, lower at 1,935.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 22 points, or 0.1%, at 16,752.30. The Nasdaq Composite began the day 6 points, or 0.1%, lower at 4,315.11.

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