Stocks fell on Thursday after data showed sales of existing homes fell unexpectedly last month, while a measure of factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region was below forecasts.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 60.17 points, or 0.46 percent, to 12,972.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 5.36 points, or 0.39 percent, to 1,379.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dipped 3.93 points, or 0.13 percent, to 3,027.52.

(Reporting By Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)