The Dow and S&P indexes fell on Wednesday, threatening to break a three-day run-up, after data showed new home sales fell unexpectedly in November.
On the last full trading day before the Christmas holiday, the Commerce Department said new home sales sank 11 percent to a seven-month low. A recovery in the crucial housing market is considered crucial for a recovery.
Consumer sentiment and personal spending also came in weaker than expected.
The markets are falling on the news because it was so far off consensus and because we had been moving in the right direction in terms of housing data, said John Praveen, chief investment strategist at Prudential International Investments Advisers LLC in Newark, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 18.82 points, or 0.18 percent, at 10,445.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.19 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,116.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 2.4 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,255.07.
The Nasdaq remained in positive territory on strength in technology a day after Micron Technology Inc
Micron rose 4.5 percent to $9.86, while Red Hat advanced 5.2 percent to $31.43.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)