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U.S. stocks reversed gains, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to its highest level on a closing basis since May 2008, as a report showed that sales of new homes unexpectedly fell in December.
The S&P 500 reversed gains after a report showed that sales of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in December for the first time in four months, capping the slowest year on record for builders. An index of U.S. leading indicators rose in December for a third month, indicating the world’s largest economy will keep growing in early 2012. Orders for U.S. durable goods advanced more than forecast in December.
Dow 12,787.04 +30.08 +0.24%, Nasdaq 2,814.09 -4.22 -0.15%, S&P 500 1,323.55 -2.51 -0.19%
AT&T fell 2.2 percent to $29.55. The largest U.S. phone company predicted 2012 earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates as record demand for smartphones such as the iPhone drive up subsidy costs.
Caterpillar jumped 2.7 percent to $111.97 for the biggest advance in the Dow. Producers of coal, copper and iron ore are increasing investment to meet rising demand from emerging economies. Capital spending at major mining companies is expected to climb 25 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.
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