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Stocks mixed...Whole Foods plunges...Productivity falls...Yellen talks to Congress

Wednesday - 5/7/2014, 11:58am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mixed in morning trading on Wall Street as investors consider a mix of corporate news. The maker of Triscuits, Oreos and Cadbury chocolate, Mondelez (mahn-duh-LEEZ') International, soared 9 percent after saying it would combine its coffee business with D.E. Master Blenders. Activision Blizzard and Molson Coors rose after their earnings beat analysts' estimates. Whole Foods plunged 20 percent after cutting its profit outlook.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Shares of Whole Foods are tumbling after the company cut its profit outlook late yesterday. The Austin, Texas-based company said it's facing increased competition as supermarkets, big-box stores and even online retailers step up their offerings of organic foods. It's the third time the grocery chain has trimmed its profit forecast in the last six months.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Harsh winter weather is being blamed again as U.S. productivity fell in the first quarter while labor costs rose. The Labor Department says productivity declined at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the January-March period, after growing at a 2.3 percent rate in last year's fourth quarter. The falling productivity coupled with a slight increase in hourly compensation led to labor costs rising 4.2 percent in the first quarter.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the U.S. economy is improving, but the job market remains "far from satisfactory" and inflation below the Fed's target rate. Speaking to Congress' Joint Economic Committee, Yellen says she expects low borrowing rates will continue to be needed for a "considerable time." She says geopolitical tensions, a renewal of financial stress in emerging markets and a faltering housing recovery are potential concerns.

PARIS (AP) -- Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen is acknowledging that expanded U.S. and European sanctions against Russia are taking a toll in the United States and Europe as well. But he says the U.S. and the European Union are committed to ensuring Ukraine's May 25 presidential elections take place. Cohen is in Europe this week to negotiate a possible third round of sanctions for Russia's incursion into Ukraine.


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