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Market Recap: Markets Sour as Home Sales Slump

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Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today:

▼ Dow -0.35 percent

▼ S&P -0.18 percent

▲ Nasdaq +0.04 percent

▲Oil +0.84 percent

▲Gold +0.19 percent

On the commodities front:

▲Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $106.96 a barrel

Precious metals:

▲Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbed to $1,650.10 an ounce

▲ Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 1.04 percent to settle at $32.17

(Related: Want Big Bucks? Invest in Solar)

Today’s markets were mixed because:

1) Housing: The latest report on home sales dampened enthusiasm about the economy today. The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that fewer than expected previously-occupied homes were bought last month, prompting stocks to turn lower in early trading.

The report came after government data released Tuesday showed a dip in new home construction.

2) Tech: Gains in technology shares buoyed the Nasdaq, though the energy services sector weighed down markets. Zynga was trading higher after it announced it would buy OMGPOP, the maker of the hit game “Draw Something,” currently the most popular app in Apple’s App Store, both for iPhones and iPads.

Google was also trading higher on news that its Chrome browser surpassed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in terms of users for the first time. Hewlett-Packard said it was merging its printer and PC businesses in a major reorganization to save costs and boost growth. And Oracle shares rose after the world’s No. 3 software maker beat Wall Street’s earnings estimates.

3) Stocks: Lions Gate Entertainment continued to draw attention as investors bet the company would win big with the opening of “The Hunger Games” movie this Friday.

General Mills shares were down after the company noted that its margins had been squeezed during the last quarter by higher input prices.

And Green Mountain was trading higher, up more than 10 percent at close, following the announcement that Starbucks would produce coffee for its new Keurig single-cup coffee makers.

[Editor’s note: the above is a cross posting that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]

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