Housing stocks led equities lower on Friday after data showed new single-family home sales fell in February, but prices jumped to their highest level in eight months, keeping hopes alive of a recovery in the sector.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 26.64 points, or 0.20 percent, to 13,019.50. The S&P 500 Index <.INX> dropped 3.85 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,388.93. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> lost 13.64 points, or 0.45 percent, to 3,049.68.

An index of housing sector stocks <.HGX>, up more than 20 percent this year, dropped 3 percent.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)