FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equity markets were mixed in afternoon trading Wednesday even after a report on new-home construction topped estimates.

Today's Markets

As of 3:05 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6 points, or 0.04%, to 16187, the S&P 500 declined 1.1 points, or 0.06%, to 1844 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.8 points, or 0.07%, to 4290.

Unusually bad weather has had an outsize impact on the American economy. One place where it has proven to be a particularly strong headwind is in the market for new home construction. 

The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes jumped to an annualized rate of 468,000 units in January, up 9.6%, from the month prior. The reading is the highest since July 2008. Wall Street was looking for a decrease to 400,000 units.

On the corporate front, Target (TGT) shares got a boost after the retailer posted a fourth-quarter beat despite a massive data breach during the three months. 

Morgan Stanley (MS) said in a regulatory filing it came to an agreement in principle with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle a probe over crisis-era mortgage-backed bonds. The investment bank would pay a fine of $275 million as part of the agreement. 

A Senate panel alleged Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CS) helped clients hide billions of dollars in assets to evade U.S. taxes.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 64 cents, or 0.64%, to $102.48 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.05% to $2.797 a gallon. Gold dropped $8.40, or 0.63%, to $1,334 a troy ounce.