U.S. stocks declined in early trade on Tuesday as weaker-than-expected housing data and disappointing results from Hewlett-Packard weighed on the sentiment.

The S&P 500 Index declined 6.63 points, or 0.50 percent, to trade at 1,322.84 at 9:35 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 84.01 points, or 0.67 percent, to trade at 12,464.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.52 percent.

The US Commerce Department reported that privately-owned housing starts in April declined 10.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000 compared to an upwardly revised annual rate of 585,000 in March, while economists’ expected a reading of 570,000 in March.

Building permits decreased by 4 percent to an annual rate of 551,000 compared with revised 574,000 in the previous month and against economists’ estimation of 590,000.

On the corporate front, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) shares plunged 6.51 percent to $37.23 in early trade as the company cut its fiscal 2011 outlook. For fiscal 2011, the company currently expects earnings to be at least $5.00 per share on revenue of $129 billion to $130 billion compared to its prior estimation of $5.20 to $5.28 per share on revenue of $130 billion to $131.5 billion. Analysts’ expect earnings of $5.24 per share on revenue of $130.29 billion.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) shares declined 0.75 percent to $15.87 in early trade ahead of its first-quarter earnings results. Street analysts predict Dell to earn $0.43 per share compared to $0.30 per share in last year, with revenues estimated at $15.4 billion.

The euro declined 0.12 percent to 1.4139 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.72 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.62 percent to $96.77/barrel and gold futures fell 0.72 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading lower with FTSE 100 down by 30.20 points, DAX30 down by 93.77 points and CAC 40 down by 31.50 points.