Stocks edged lower on Monday as corporate results from companies, including Verizon
Verizon Communications shares fell 2.1 percent to $30.84 after the company reported second-quarter earnings that fell from a year ago.
Honeywell's stock price was mostly flat at $33.98 after the world's largest maker of cockpit electronics reported a 38 percent drop in earnings and cut its full-year profit forecast and said the recession was matching up to the worst of its expectations.
Earlier on Monday, data showed sales of new single-family homes in the United States rose more than expected in June, while the inventory of homes for sale fell to more than an 11-year low.
The data drove the Dow Jones U.S. home construction index <.DJUSHB> up 3.5 percent to 256.83.
Stocks hit session highs after the data, but were unable to rally off it, mostly because the market has risen so much in the past few weeks, according to Jim Awad, Managing Director at Zephyr Management New York.
The major negative is how far the market has come, he said.
Stronger-than-expected earnings, coupled with data suggesting an economic recovery could be around the corner, have lifted indexes over the last two weeks, giving stocks their best two-week run since just after the S&P 500 hit a 12-year closing low in the beginning of March.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 9.97 points, or 0.11 percent, to 9,083.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 0.19 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to 979.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 4.02 points, or 0.20 percent, to 1,961.94
Several regional banks, among the worst hit by credit losses tied to a weak housing sector, posted large gains off the stronger housing data.
Regions Financial Corp
Aetna shares shed 4.5 percent to $25.24 after the company, one of the biggest U.S. providers of employer-based health insurance, cut its full-year outlook, citing higher-than-projected medical costs.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)