Stocks slip as interest rates creep higher

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is edging lower after long-term interest rates rose close to their highest level in two years.

Stocks that are most sensitive to changes in interest rates fell the most. Homebuilders fell on concern that mortgage rates would rise. Stocks that pay rich dividends including utilities and phone companies also fell.

Airline stocks slumped after the Justice Department challenged the proposed merger between US Airways Group and American Airlines’ parent company, AMR.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 27 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,393 at noon Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down a point, or 0.1 percent, at 1,687.

The Nasdaq composite was down four points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,665.

KFC owner Yum Brands dropped after reporting weak sales in China.

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