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Overnight Markets: Housing data weigh on Wall Street

by Himanshu Singh on Jan 29, 2013 at 03:42

Overnight Markets: Housing data weigh on Wall Street

Wall Street declined on Monday as a slump in pending home sales overshadowed a rise in durable- goods orders while investors watched earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 14 points, or 0.1%, at 13,882. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down three points, or 0.18%, at 1,500. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up five points, or 0.15%, at 3,154.

Economic data showed US durable goods orders jumped 4.6% in December, a pace that far outstripped expectations for a rise of 1.8%. Pending home sales, however, unexpectedly fell 4.3%. Analysts were looking for an increase of 0.3%.

Dow component Caterpillar rose 2% even as the company posted a 55% drop in quarterly profit.

Apple was lifted 2.3% by bargain hunters and the iPad and iPhone maker regained the title as the largest U.S. company by market capitalisation. Exxon Mobil fell 0.7% and slipped back to second place.

Facebook Inc. added 3% as options traders were the most bullish on the shares on record.

Hess Corp shot up 6.1% after the company said it would exit its refining business, freeing up to $1 billion of capital. Separately, hedge fund Elliott Associates is looking for approval to acquire nearly $800 million more in Hess stock.

On the negative side, Boeing declined 1.4% on worries about the potential hit from delays in its 787 Dreamliner programme.

Yahoo surged 4.4% after the bell following the release of its results. AK Steel Holding Corp. lost 7.4% in regular session after Goldman Sachs downgraded the shares.

PetSmart Inc. plunged 9.1% after the pet-store chain was cut to reduce from neutral by Nomura Holdings Inc.

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