U.S. stocks fluctuated, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 trading near an-time high, as home sales declined and investors watched overseas crises before this week’s Federal Reserve policy decision.
Cummins Inc. fell 3.5 percent to lead industrial shares lower. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. tumbled 43 percent after saying it failed to win approval for its pain treatment Zalviso from the Food and Drug Administration. Trulia Inc. jumped 17 percent as Zillow Inc. agreed to purchase the company for $3.5 billion. Family Dollar Stores Inc., a discount store chain, soared 26 percent after Dollar Tree Inc. agreed to buy it.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added less than 0.1 percent to 1,978.50 at 1:33 p.m. in New York, erasing an earlier drop of as much as 0.6 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12.58 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 16,973.15. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was in line with the 30-day average during this time of day.
“It’s another big week of earnings, with the jobs report on Friday,” Michael James, a Los Angeles-based managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities Inc., said in an interview. “Sentiment in the short-term term is a little more cautious.”
Fewer Americans than forecast signed contracts to buy previously owned homes in June, a sign residential real estate is struggling to strengthen. The index of pending home sales declined 1.1 percent from the month before after rising 6 percent in May, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed. The median forecast of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected sales would rise 0.5 percent.
An S&P index of homebuilder shares dropped 1.9 percent to the lowest level since May.
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