Wednesday, April 18, 2007
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
NEW YORK - Wall Street traded mostly higher Tuesday, briefly pushing the Dow Jones industrials into record territory after a rise in home construction and a mild reading on consumer inflation encouraged investors to buy.
The technology-dominated Nasdaq composite index and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies slipped, showing that most of the stock market's gains were isolated in larger companies that are more impervious to economic stumbles.
Many investors were heartened by the Commerce Department's report that March housing starts rose 0.8 percent - a feeble rise compared with February's 7.6 percent advance, but much better than the drop investors expected. Building permits also rose. Stocks have had many tumultuous weeks this year due to worries about the financial troubles of the subprime lending sector spilling into the already sluggish housing market.
Giving investors some additional relief, the Labor Department's core consumer price index rose 0.1 percent in March, less than expected, and alleviating some anxiety about the Federal Reserve's need to raise interest rates to curb costs. The overall consumer price index, which takes into account energy and food, rose 0.6 percent in March - the largest increase in 11 months - and was in line with expectations.