NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging lower in early trading on Wall Street, extending a decline from record levels reached at the beginning of August.
Investors were disappointed by a report on retail sales last month that came in weaker than the market expected. The company that owns KFC and Taco bell slumped after reporting that its sales plunged in China last month. Homebuilders slid after interest rates increased in the bond market, which could send mortgage rates higher.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 56 points, or 0.4 percent, at 15,363 after the first 45 minutes of trading.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down four points, or 0.3 percent, at 1,684. The Nasdaq composite fell 14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,655.
The S&P has lost 1.5 percent since hitting an all-time high of 1,709 on Aug. 2. Disappointing second-quarter corporate earnings reports have prompted investors to send stock prices lower this month.
The index is still up 18 percent for the year on optimism that the housing market will recover and hiring will pick up.
Retail sales increased 0.2 percent in July from June, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales had risen 0.6 percent in June from May boosting hopes that stronger consumer spending could boost economic growth. The increase was slightly below the 0.3 percent that economists had forecast, according to data provider FactSet.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.70 percent from 2.62 percent Monday. The yield is used as a benchmark to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including home mortgages.
In commodities trading, the price of oil fell 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $105.99 a barrel. Gold dropped $5, or 0.4 percent, to $1,329 an ounce.
The dollar rose against the euro and the Japanese yen.
Among stocks making big moves:
-- PulteGroup fell 52 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $15.20, leading a broad decline in homebuilder stocks.
-- Yum Brands, which owns the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC fast-food chains, slumped $2.35, or 3.2 percent, to $72.11 after reporting that its sales in China fell 13 percent in July.
-- Xerox rose 26 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $10.42 after the stock was upgraded to "Buy" by analysts at Citigroup. The analysts predict that the company, one of the largest processors of health care claims and payments, will benefit from increased demand due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.