Closing Bell: Stocks Shrug Off Disappointing Housing News, End Higher

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. U.S. stocks fell, giving the Dow Jones Industrial Average its longest slump in 13 months, as minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting showed officials support stimulus cuts this year if the economy improves. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Stocks ended Friday trading higher, despite a report showing a big drop in sales of newly built homes, which prompted a selloff earlier in the session.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,010, building on Thursday's gains. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,663. and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) gained 19 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3,657, a day after the exchange was shutdown for three hours because of technical troubles.

Data from the Commerce Department showed sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. fell by 13.4 percent in July to an annual rate of 394,000 units, well below expectations of 490,000 units.
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The data weighed on homebuilder stocks, with PulteGroup (PHM) down 1.6 percent to $16.06, Toll Brothers (TOL) off 3.9 percent to $31.19 and D.R. Horton (DHI) off 2.9 to $18.73.

After a technological problem shut down trading in Nasdaq securities Thursday, Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld said the exchange resolved the technical issues that led to Thursday's trading halt but can't guarantee there would be no future problems.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) is offering free antennas to allow customers to watch CBS (CBS) during a blackout that's in its third week. The companies have been unable to reach a new programming deal since their agreement expired in June. Customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas can get a free indoor antenna at their local Time Warner Cable store, or receive a $20 voucher, good for the purchase of an antenna at Best Buy (BBY).

Other Stocks in the News:
  • Microsoft rose 7.8 percent to $34.79 after the software giant announced CEO Steve Ballmer would retire within the next year.
  • Pandora Media (P), the online music streaming company, slid nearly 13 percent to $18.90 after the company issued a disappointing profit outlook for the current quarter.
  • Aeropostale (ARO) slumped 20.2 percent to $8.76 after the teen retailer reported dismal quarterly results and issued a pessimistic outlook. Several other teen retailers including Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) have also reported poor customer traffic and slumping sales.
What to Watch Monday:
  • The Commerce Department reports durable goods orders for July at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
-Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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