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Markets Inch Higher on Rosy Housing Report, Solid Retail Results

The S&P closed flat and the Dow finished higher after a rosy housing report showed new home sales increased 9.6% to a higher-than-expected seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000 in January, from an upwardly revised 427,000 in December. The January reading was the highest since July 2008. Several retailers including Target also posted strong results, helping offset sentiment which suggested equities were due for consolidation. TheStreet's Jane Searle spoke to Mark Newton at the NYSE.