Wall Street Zigzags on Strong Earnings, Weak Data

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives 

U.S. equity markets fell into the red after a disappointing housing report overshadowed strong earnings from industrial giant Caterpillar.

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Today's Markets

As of 3:07 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.2 points, or 0.29%, to 15924, the S&P 500 gained 1.1 points, or 0.06%, to 1791 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 18.1 points, or 0.43%, to 4110.

The markets took a beating last week, with the broad S&P 500 tumbling 2.6% in its worst week on a percent basis since June 2012. The sharp move was ignited by worries that the beginning of the end of the Federal Reserve's vast bond-purchasing program could cause turmoil in emerging markets.

The mood was somewhat lighter on Monday after Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) revealed considerably better-than-expected quarterly results. Shares of the world's biggest maker of heavy machinery, which is also seen as an economic bellwether, rallied 5%. Results from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world's No. 1 tech company, are due out after the closing bell.

The Commerce Department said sales of new, single-family homes dropped 7% in December to an annual rate of 414,000 units, considerably weaker than the 457,000-unit rate economists forecast. The housing market has been recovering recently, but there have been concerns that rising interest rates could put pressure on the burgeoning rebound.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures rose 38 cents, or 0.39%, to $97.02 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.47% to $2.65 a gallon. Gold dipped 20 cents, or 0.02%, to $1,264 a troy ounce.

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