Stocks mixed after new home sales plummet

NEW YORK • Stocks gave up an early gain and turned mixed Thursday after the government reported that new home sales plunged to the lowest level in nine months. A boom in housing has been a major support for this year’s rally in stocks. Home builders such as PulteGroup, D.R. Horton and Lennar fell after the Commerce Department said that home sales fell 13.4 percent in July. The drop suggests that higher mortgage rates are cooling demand for homes. Microsoft bucked the downward trend and surged as...

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