Stocks fall on surprising drop in home sales

An unexpected decline in existing home sales outweighed better news on the labor front, leaving stocks broadly lower Thursday.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) lost 41 points, or 0.4 percent, to finish at 9,707, while the S&P 500 ($INX) gave up 10 points, or 1 percent, to settle at 1,051. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) lost 24 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 2,108.

The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes fell 2.7 percent in August, putting an end to a four-month winning streak and coming in well below economists' average forecast. The news took a toll on financial stocks. Shares in Bank of America (BAC) retreated nearly 3 percent, Citigroup (C) dropped 2 percent, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) fell 1.5 percent and Wells Fargo (WFC) declined 1 percent.

For more on stocks on the move today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap up.
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