The Commerce Department said construction of homes and apartments fell 12.8 percent last month to the lowest pace on records going back a half-century. Analysts had expected housing starts to rise.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average is ending down 29.23, or 0.3 percent, at 8,474.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 1.58, or 0.2 percent, at 908.13. The Nasdaq composite index is up 2.18, or 0.1 percent, at 1,734.54.