Wall Street Pauses Despite Strong Housing Data


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A round of significantly better-than-expected housing data did little to move the markets, with the broad S&P 500 barley budging on the day.

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Today's Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.8 points, or 0.12%, to 16198, the S&P 500 advanced 0.04 point, or 0.04%, to 1845 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 4.5 points, or 0.1%, to 4292.

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 (NYSE:TGT) shares got a boost after the retailer posted a fourth-quarter beat despite a massive data breach during the three months.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: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 (NYSE: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.

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