Monday Afternoon Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories that Moved Markets

The markets closed on a mixed note on Monday, with the S&P just a fraction above 1,500. Early in the day, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) gave the markets a bump with its strong fourth-quarter earnings, but housing data seemed to overshadow optimism.

At the close: DJIA: -0.10%, S&P 500: -0.18%, NASDAQ: +0.15%.

Here are three stories that moved markets today:Money-Fixed-Rate-Loans-Refinance-Home-Loan-Cash-713749

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1) After reaching a 2 ½-year high last November, the number of pending home sales in the U.S. dropped in December because of a limited supply of available homes, a possible sign that sales of previously-occupied homes may continue to fall in the next few months.

On Monday, the National Association of Realtors announced that its seasonally adjusted index fell 4.3 percent last month to 101.7 from November’s record reading of 106.3. However, the results were not a complete step backward; December’s index reading was a 6.9 percent increase from the previous year, and for the past 20 consecutive months, pending home sales have stayed above their respective year-ago levels… (Read more.)