STOCKS FALL, BARELY: Buffeted by disappointing earnings reports, the Standard & Poor's 500 slipped less than a point to 1,338, down 0.03 percent. The loss extended the broad index's declines to a fourth straight day.
DOW'S DYNAMIC DUO: The Dow Jones industrial average went in the opposite direction, also by a small amount. The Dow rose 0.5 percent to 12,676. Helping the blue chip index were big earnings gains from Boeing and Caterpillar. The stock soared, contributing 24 points to the Dow, or nearly half of its gain for the day.
HOUSING HIT HARD: Among the biggest losers were home builders. They tanked after a government reports said new home sales plunged 8 percent last month. Beazer Homes fell 5 percent and KB Home 3 percent.