News Column

Home Prices Up, Consumer Confidence Down

September 24, 2013 Financial Markets

markets slip economics downward

U.S. stocks were tiptoeing lower at the opening Tuesday after data showed a rise in home prices, and a drop in consumer confidence, while financials slid on reports that Wall Street's fixed-income trading revenue could fall.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.20% to 15370.17 points. The S&P 500 index lost 0.06% to 1700.76 points. The NASDAQ composite dropped 0.15% to 3759.53 points.

As of 10:04 a.m. ET Citigroup fell 3.2%, Goldman Sachs declined 2.65%, Morgan Stanley slid 3.4% and JPMorgan Chase dropped 2.54%.

Shares of Apple provided a boost, rising almost 5% after news that it sold roughly nine million new iPhones over the weekend.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index for July rose 12.4% from year-earlier levels, in line with expectations of a 12.5% increase. Also, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for September came slightly below expectations at 79.7, however dropping from 81.8 the previous month.

Traders also are weighing debt-ceiling negotiations and recent Federal Reserve comments.

The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 had touched record highs last Wednesday after the Fed surprised markets by saying it would not, as expected, start reducing its $85 billion-a-month bond buying stimulus. But since then, stock markets have given back those gains after conflicting comments from regional Fed officials on the direction of policy.

The S&P is still up almost 20% so far this year. The Fed's bond-buying stimulus program known as 'quantitative easing' has supported the financial, securities and housing markets and helped keep interest rates historically low.

Also weighing on stocks are the threats, however remote, of a possible U.S. government shutdown and debt default.

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Original headline: Wall Street edges lower after data, banks fall

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