Stocks Wobble Amid Weak Housing Data


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The markets wavered on Friday as traders reviewed disappointing housing data and a smattering of corporate news.

Today's Markets

As of 10:05 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30.6 points, or 0.2%, to 14934, the S&P 500 dipped 1.8 points, or 0.12%, to 1655 and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 6.2 points, or 0.17%, to 3644.

After a tumultuous session marked by a historic, three-hour halt in Nasdaq-listed securities, action was considerably quieter on the Street Friday. Traders will were parsing through a smattering of corporate news and awaiting key economic developments.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) chief executive Steve Ballmer decided to retire within the next 12 months upon the completion of a process to choose his successor, the software giant said.  Shares were higher by 6% in pre-market trading.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes dropped 13.4% to an annualized rate of 394,000 in July, widely missing expectations of 490,000. It was the lowest reading since October 2012, and the biggest drop since May 2010.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen was also slated to make remarks at the central bank's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wy. There has been an intense focus on commentary from top Fed officials lately amid worries about when the Fed will begin paring back its vast bond-buying program.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 36 cents, or 0.34%, to $104.68 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline jumped 1.2% to $3.00 a gallon. Gold rose $1.30, or 0.09%, to $1,372 a troy ounce.