Consumer Cos Down as Rising Mortgage Rates Weigh on Housing Cos — Consumer Roundup

Retailers and other consumer companies fell as rising interest rates weighed on the outlook for the housing market.

Shares of KB Home fell after the builder projected revenue from home sales shy of the Wall Street target.

Rival Lennar rose slightly after it forecast an increase in home deliveries in the fourth quarter. The average fixed 30-year mortgage rate hit the highest level since the onset of the financial crisis, mirroring steady gains in Treasury yields, and weighing on the outlook for the U.S. housing market.

Inflation continued to take a toll on consumer companies’ earnings. Darden Restaurants posted a drop in quarterly earnings as higher sales at Olive Garden and its other restaurant brands failed to offset rising food and labor costs.

In one good sign for the jobs market, Target plans to hire up to 100,000 seasonal workers in stores and warehouses across the U.S.

Ancora Holdings, the activist investor that helped install three directors on the Kohl’s Corp. board last year, sent a letter to the board demanding the ouster of the retailer’s chairman and chief executive.

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