US stocks mixed after uneven economic signals

US stocks mixed after strong manufacturing signals, disappointing home sales

Associated Press
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In this Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, photo, Trader Michael Urkonis, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street appeared headed for a day of trade without drama Monday Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks meandered between small gains and losses, cooling off after a rally that had pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 index above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007. Encouraging news about manufacturing provided an early boost, but stocks fell later after a report on the pace of home sales fell short of expectations.

The Dow fell 14 points to 13,881. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,500. The Nasdaq composite index rose 4 to 3,154.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said its fourth-quarter net income exceeded analysts' expectations. It ended trading up $1.87 at $97.45.

Declining stocks marginally outpaced advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.3 billion shares.

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