Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies rose, but consumer-staples companies struggled amid an ongoing price war and consumer preference for organic products.
Procter & Gamble posted a meager increase in the key measure of organic sales, echoing rival Kimberly Clark.
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PepsiCo's sales rose, helped by price increases, but the company's chief executive acknowledged supermarket offerings would have to be "reinvented" to draw consumers back to brand-name cereals and packaged foods such as PepsiCo's Quaker.
Overall purchases of consumer packaged goods in the U.S. declined 2.5% in unit terms in the first quarter, according to Nielsen.
A P&G executive said the rise of the beard in men's fashion contributed to a 6% organic sales decline for P&G's grooming unit.
After another sharp increase in home prices reported for February, there are concerns about the housing market overheating.
"We believe that one of the major challenges for housing activity has been -- and continues to be -- a lack of inventory," said analysts at brokerage Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, in a note to clients. "There are a variety of ways to capture the tightness in the housing market. Most obvious is the continued rise in home prices and rents, which reflects a market where demand is outpacing supply."
Rob Curran, email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 26, 2017 17:24 ET (21:24 GMT)