Consumer Stocks Down As Kroger Weighs - Consumer Roundup

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Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies declined after a warning from grocer Kroger's. Nestle said it's considering selling its U.S. confectionery business, maker of such products as the Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars, as packaged-food giants struggle to boost growth and accommodate changing consumer tastes. The Swiss-based consumer giant said its U.S. confections business generated about 900 million Swiss francs ($922 million) in sales last year, or 3% of its total U.S. sales. Shares of supermarket chain Kroger's plunged after it cut its full-year profit forecast, reflecting pressure on traditional grocers from organic specialists and ongoing pressure on food prices. Falling in sympathy with Kroger were Whole Foods Market, Wal-Mart Stores and Costco Wholesale. Nike plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs world-wide as it struggles with slowing sales. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, hinting that the U.S. labor market remains in expansion mode.

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 15, 2017 16:20 ET (20:20 GMT)