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Stocks slide on new concerns about housing, banks
Author:  Published:2010-06-23  Views: 2030
 

  NEW YORK ? Stocks dropped for a second day Tuesday after home sales fell unexpectedly and the White House said it would fight a court ruling that lifted its ban on offshore oil drilling.

  The Dow Jones industrial average fell 149 points, its biggest drop in about two weeks. Treasury prices climbed after demand for safe investments rose.

  The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 2.2 percent in May. The report surprised analysts who thought sales would get a lift from a homebuyer tax credit. Sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million from a revised 5.79 million in April.

  Homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. slid 3.2 percent, while Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. fell 3.5 percent.

  Oil stocks fell after the administration said it would appeal a judge's decision to overturn a six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Baker Hughes Inc., a supplier of oil drilling parts and services, fell 4.4 percent, while oil-services company Halliburton Inc. fell 3.9 percent.

  It was the second straight day that the market gave up early gains to end lower. The selling intensified shortly before 2 p.m. Eastern time, when the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index fell below 1,111, its average finish of the past 200 days. Many professionals who use technical factors in their buying and selling decisions consider the 200-day moving average, as it's called, to be a predictor of the market's direction. The drop below 1,110 hastened the market's slide because computer programs kicked in and drove more selling.

  "Without much tangible information to sink your teeth into investors are going to rely on technicals and right now the technicals broke down," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago. "There are a lot of extreme emotions right now and not a lot of information."

 
 
     
 
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