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Wall Street holds its own after Cyprus 'no' vote

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 6:09 p.m.
 

NEW YORK — The latest twists in Europe's debt drama weighed down the stock market Tuesday, offsetting more good news on the housing market.

The Dow Jones industrial average managed a gain of four points, while other indexes closed slightly lower. Investors were focused on Cyprus, where the Mediterranean country's lawmakers voted against a bailout plan for banks that would have called for raiding the savings accounts of ordinary citizens.

The Dow and other U.S. indexes started higher following a report of a surprisingly large increase in new home construction in February. The index gained as much as 62 points in morning trading.

The Dow rose 3.76 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 14,455.82. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 3.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,548.34. The Nasdaq composite fell 8.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,229.10.

Markets have been on a roll this year. The Dow is up 10.3 percent and broke through its previous all-time high on March 5.

The S&P 500 is up 8.6 percent in 2013 and is 1.1 percent away from its record close of 1,565.15 reached October 2007.

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday opened its second policy meeting of the year. On Wednesday, it will issue a policy statement and update its economic forecasts. Economists and investors don't expect the Fed to let up in its drive to keep stimulating the economy by keeping interest rates at historic lows.

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