Stocks are moderately lower in early trading as investors, nervous about the fate of the nation's top automakers, scour more economic data.
The Labor Department said Wednesaday that consumer prices plunged by the largest amount in the past 61 years in October. While consumers might like lower prices, investors worry that they could hurt corporate profits.
Another government report says new-home construction plunged 4.5 percent last month to the lowest level on government records.
The market is also bracing for more Congressional testimony from Detroit's Big Three carmakers. They want cash to stave off bankruptcy.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 39 points to the 8,384 level. Broader market indexes are also down.
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