Stock market fades at close

US stock market ends lower as afternoon gains fizzle

Associated Press
US home prices rise 12.4 pct., most in 7½ years
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FILE - In this Tuesday, July 30, 2013, file photo, a realty sign hangs in front of a home for sale in Gilbert, Ariz. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller reports on home prices in July on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mostly lower at the close of trading, and the Dow Jones industrial average posted its fourth straight day of declines.

Stocks faded in the last half-hour of trading Tuesday after staying positive most of the day.

Traders struggled with conflicting news about the economy. One report on Tuesday showed that home prices in July rose the most in more than seven years. Another showed that Americans' confidence in the economy slipped in September.

The Dow fell 66 points to close at 15,334. The Standard & Poor's 500 index eased four points to 1,697.

The Nasdaq composite, however, edged up two points to 3,768.

Software company Red Hat slid $6.20, or 12 percent, to $46.73, after it reported lower-than-expected quarterly billings and issued disappointing revenue forecasts.

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