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Stocks mostly lower as investors wait for jobs report


NEW YORK - U.S. stocks were slightly lower in midday trading Tuesday in what looks to be another quiet day as the summer comes to an end. Hershey plunged after the company walked away from a merger proposal, and Apple slipped after the companywas hit with a large tax bill in Europe.

Investors continue to wait to see where the Federal Reserve will move interest rates later this year, with the next key piece of data coming later this week with the August jobs report.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,457 as of 12:11 p.m. ET. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost three points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,177 and the Nasdaq composite fell eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,224.

Hershey fell $12.36, or 11 percent, to $99.30 after snack food company Mondelez International said it was walking awayfrom its proposal to buy Hershey​ for roughly $25 billion. Mondelez, which makes Oreo cookies and other snack foods, initially proposed to buy the company earlier this summer, but Hershey is a notoriously difficult company to propose mergers with since the majority of the shares are controlled by a non-profit organization.

Apple fell 74 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $106.08 after the European Union ruled that it has to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland. Both Apple and Ireland said they would appeal the decision, which is the EU’s latest and most aggressive move in its campaign to have multinationals pay a fair tax rate.

Investors are awaiting the Labor Department’s monthly jobs survey on Friday for signs on whether the U.S. economy remains on solid footing. Economists expect employers added 182,500 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.8 percent.

A strong jobs report would give the Federal Reserve additional ammunition to raise interest rates either at its September meeting or later this year.

United Continental rose $2.50, or 5 percent, to $49.45 after the company announced it was hiring a former American Airlines executive, Scott Kirby, to become United’s new president and take over the day-to-day operations of the company.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil was lower at $46.47 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, fell 71 cents to $48.75 a barrel.

Bond prices were mostly unchanged. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.57 percent. The dollar rose to 102.92 yen from 101.98 yen late Monday. The euro slipped to $1.1149 from $1.1187.

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