U.S. Stocks Drop as Treasuries, Gold Gain on Housing Data

April 23, 2014

New York (Apr 23)  U.S. stocks fell, ending a six-day advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, and Treasuries rose as reports showed weakness in home sales and global manufacturing. Gold climbed from a 10-week low.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent to 1,875.39 at 4 p.m. in New York, after completing its longest winning streak since September. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 0.4 percent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.6 percent. The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 2.69 percent. Gold futures rose 0.3 percent. The euro strengthened against most of its peers after the region’s services and manufacturing grew more than forecast.

Sales of new U.S. homes plunged in March to an eight-month low as buyers balked at record prices and higher mortgage rates that made properties less affordable. China’s manufacturing is contracting for a fourth month, according to a preliminary survey from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics Ltd. Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. are among companies releasing earnings today.

“The market has been moving up rather well, but it can get a little tired,” Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., which oversees $2 billion, said in a phone interview. “The economic news today was not anything that would drive the market higher.”

Facebook Inc. shares added 3 percent in trading after the close of U.S. exchanges. The company reported higher-than-estimated earnings for the first quarter.

Nasdaq Drops

The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 0.9 percent during regular trading as Netflix Inc. dropped after Amazon.com Inc. reached a deal to stream old episodes of HBO series. The Russell 2000 Index retreated 0.7 percent.

U.S. home sales dropped 14.5 percent to a 384,000 annualized pace, lower than any forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the weakest since July, Commerce Department data showed. The median forecast of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for the pace to accelerate to 450,000.

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