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US stock market edges up
NEW YORK—A surprisingly strong housing report helped push the stock market mostly higher yesterday, while weak earnings reports from Intel and IBM weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average. Even though the two tech giants disappointed, overall earnings results have come in much better than some investors had feared, said Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
The Dow edged up 5.22 points to close at 13,557, barely managing its fourth straight day of gains. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 5.99 points to 1,460.91. For the week, the Dow is up 1.7 per cent and the S&P 500 is up 2.3 per cent.
The Commerce Department said yesterday that builders broke ground on building new single-family houses and apartments at the fastest pace since July 2008. Housing starts surged to an annual rate of 872,000 in September, far above estimates by economists.
“You might think it’s a misprint,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG, in a note to clients. But over the past year, housing starts have climbed by 43 per cent. In other trading, the Nasdaq composite index inched up 2.95 points to 3,104.12. More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
The housing report helped lift the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 1.81 per cent from 1.72 per cent late Tuesday. Better economic news usually sends traders out of safe assets like Treasurys, and when bond prices fall their yields rise. The ten-year Treasury yield, a standard benchmark for mortgages and other loans, started October at 1.63 per cent.
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