Stocks Waver ahead of Pending-Home Sales

U.S. stocks were little changed early Wednesday ahead of a report on pending-home sales and as Syria remained an underlying concern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 27.26 points, or 0.18%, at 14,803.39. The S&P 500 index was up 3.16 points, or 0.19%, to 1,633.64. The Nasdaq Composite rose 13.16 points, or 0.37%, to 3,591.68.

The threat of military action in Syria has pushed oil prices to new highs, fuelling fears they could surge even further.New York oil surged to its highest level for more than two years on Wednesday, with West Texas Intermediate for delivery October, hitting $112.24 a barrel – a level last seen in early May 2011.

Gold prices rallied above $1,430 an ounce to 3-1/2 month highs on Wednesday. Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,424.71 an ounce at 1210 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $5.20 an ounce at $1,425.40.

Media companies, including the New York Times, Twitter and the Huffington Post, lost control of some of their websites after hackers supporting the Syrian government breached the Australian Internet company that manages them.

Applications for U.S. home loans fell for a third straight week as average mortgage rates hit their highest level this year. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 2.5 percent in the week ended August 23, after sliding 4.6 percent the prior week.

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