Housing woes send stocks below 10,000 for second straight day

Dow now at 10,016, however, down 24 points from Wednesday’s opening.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks retreated again after another disappointing report on housing and weak durable goods orders brought more gloom about the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 50 points in morning trading Wednesday following news that sales of new homes fell last month to the lowest level on record. It was the latest indication that home sales are stagnating after the expiration of a homebuyer tax credit this spring.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that durable goods orders grew only slightly last month, falling shy of expectations and disappointing investors who had been hoping that the U.S. manufacturing sector would continue to pick up.
The newest signs that the economic recovery is sputtering led investors to move money into the relative safety of Treasurys, sending their yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is now the lowest it’s been since January 2009, when the stock market was heading toward its lowest level in 12 years, and the yield on the two-year note is at a record low.
Stocks have been hit hard in recent days because of concerns about whether the economy will fall back into recession or at least be stuck in a prolonged period of very slow growth. The Dow is heading into its fifth straight day of declines.
New home sales fell 12.4 percent in July to an annual rate of 276,600, the Commerce Department reported. That was the slowest pace on records dating back to 1963 and worse than the pace forecast by economists polled by Thomson Reuters. A day earlier, the National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes, a far greater proportion of the housing market, fell to a 15-year low in July.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51.61, or 0.5 percent, to 9,989.06 in morning trading.

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