Stocks Mixed after Uneven Economic Signals

U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on Monday, as 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 Jones Industrial Average dropped 14.05 points, or 0.10%, to end at 13,881.93. The S&P 500 slipped 2.78 points, or 0.18%, to 1,500.18. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4.59 points, or 0.15%, to 3,154.30.

Signed contracts to buy existing homes fell 4.3 percent in December from the previous month, according to a monthly index from the National Association of Realtors.  That missed analysts’ expectations of a one A model home percent gain. The index is 6.9 percent higher than December of 2011. Realtors say it is not lack of demand but supply at the end of 2012 that pushed the numbers down.

Yahoo Inc reported revenue of $1.35 billion in the fourth quarter, up nearly 2 percent year-on-year.The Web portal said on Monday that its fourth-quarter net income was $272.3 million, or 23 cents per share, versus $295.6 million, or 24 cents per share in the year-ago period.

Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) on Monday reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $492 million, or $1.30 a share, on $3.7 billion in revenue. During the same period a year ago, the hard-disk drive maker earned $563 million, or $1.28 a share, on sales of $3.2 billion.

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