Markets Sour as Home Sales Slump

Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today: Dow -0.35%, S&P -0.18%, Nasdaq +0.04%, Oil +0.84%, Gold +0.19%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $106.96 a barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,650.10 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 1.04% to settle at $32.17.

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Today’s markets were mixed because:

1) Housing. The latest report on home sales dampened enthusiasm about the economy today. The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that fewer than expected previously-occupied homes were bought last month, prompting stocks to turn lower in early trading. The report came after government data released Tuesday showed a dip in new home construction.
Check Out: Why Did Home Sales Drop?

2) Tech. Gains in technology shares buoyed the Nasdaq, though the energy services sector weighed down markets. Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was trading higher after it announced it would buy OMGPOP, the maker of the hit game “Draw Something,” currently the most popular app in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store, both for iPhones and iPads. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) was also trading higher on news that its Chrome browser surpassed Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer in terms of users for the first time. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) said it was merging its printer and PC businesses in a major reorganization to save costs and boost growth. And Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) shares rose after the world’s No. 3 software maker beat Wall Street’s earnings estimates.
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3) Stocks. Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) continued to draw attention as investors bet the company would win big with the opening of “The Hunger Games” movie this Friday. General Mills (NYSE:GM) shares were down after the company noted that its margins had been squeezed during the last quarter by higher input prices. And Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR) was trading higher, up more than 10 percent at close, following the announcement that Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) would produce coffee for its new Keurig single-cup coffee makers.
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To contact the reporter on this story: Emily Knapp at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com