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US stocks: Largest drop in two months as Wall St rally loses steam

NEW YORK: US stocks fell in low volume in a broad decline triggered in part by a sharp drop in home re sales.

Contracts to buy previously owned US homes fell in November to their lowest level in nearly a year, a sign that rising interest rates could be weighing on the housing market. The PHLX housing sector index fell 1.2% to close at its lowest in three weeks. The S&P 500 posted its largest daily decline since October 11.

Technology was the largest weight on major indexes, however, with Nvidia down 6.9% to $109.25 after short seller Citron Research said the market was overlooking the headwinds for the stock which had earlier touched a record high.

The S&P 500 tech sector fell 0.9% after closing on Tuesday at its highest closing level since the year 2000. “There was enough bad news during the day” to pull the market lower, said Keith Bliss, senior vice president at Cuttone & Co in New York, referring to the housing data. He said that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments that Israel’s building of settlements on occupied land was endangering Middle East peace made some traders nervous and exacerbated the decline with two allies publicly at odds.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 111.36 points, or 0.56%, to 19,833.68, the S&P 500 lost 18.96 points, or 0.8%, to 2,249.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 48.89 points, or 0.89%, to 5,438.56.

courtesy : express tribune

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