Consumer Companies Flat Amid Mixed Earnings -- Consumer Roundup

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies were flat after mixed economic data.

Housing starts fell 4.7% in September from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.127 million, the Commerce Department said. Residential building permits, a leading indicator of industry activity, fell 4.5% to an annual pace of 1.215 million last month. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.8% decrease for starts, while estimating that permits fell 5.4%.

Reckitt Benckiser Group said it would split its operations, putting brands such as Durex condoms into a standalone health-care products unit in the latest move from a consumer-products company to adjust to changing market conditions.

Rob Curran,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 17:18 ET (21:18 GMT)