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Midday Market Report: Stocks Rebound on Home Sales


US stocks shrugged off early losses after pending home sales data.

Stocks backtracked on earlier losses after home sales data revealed stronger-than-expected improvements in the housing market.

European markets closed on a sour note after the G-20 rebuffed aid pleas from eurozone creditors and the IMF, opting to defer aid to distressed European debtors in the near term. Germany's Bundestag approved the second Greek ballot today despite opposition from the German public.
  • The Eurostoxx 50 (^STOXX50E) closed at 2,513.06, down 0.42%.
  • The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) fell 0.33% to 5,915.55.
  • Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) fell 0.22% to 6,849.6.
  • France's CAC (^FCHI) declined by 0.74%, closing at 3,441.45.
US equities started the day by following Europe down nearly 1% in the morning. Stocks rebounded from early losses and turned positive on better-than-expected housing data. The National Association of Retailers' Pending Home Sales Index showed that contracts for existing home sales in January grew by 2% over December, beating economists' estimates of 1% month-over-month growth.

The rising oil price is a concern on many investors' minds today. Crude oil futures peaked to a 10-month high on Friday, but as today wore on, prices fell slightly, alleviating fears of a ripple effect of high oil prices that could compromise the US economic recovery and hurt consumer-oriented companies. Brent crude fell 1.31% to $123.83/barrel, and West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 0.97% to $108.70/barrel.
  • The Dow (^DJI) continues to flirt with the magical 13,000. The blue-chip index climbed 0.14% on the day to 13,000.77.
  • The S&P 500 (SPY) rose 0.16% to 1,367.96.
  • The Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 0.18% to 2,969.11.
Dendreon Corporation (DNDN), dropped 18.24% despite beating earnings estimates today. The company, which makes the Provenge prostate-cancer drug, reported weak orders for January.

Micron Technology (MU) is up 8.94% after rival chip company Elpida (ELPDF.PK) filed for bankruptcy. Elpida failed to win a second bailout from the Japanese government.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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