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Market Update

Stocks on Wall Street Weaken on Cyprus Uncertainties

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:43 PM ET March 19 2013

1:30 PM New York Stocks in New York accelerated the decline in early afternoon after lawmakers in Cyprus are likely to vote down a proposal to tax depositors as a part of international bailout. Home construction activities increased to a five-year high.

Stocks in New York opened higher but quickly lost steam after the euro zone old debt worries resurfaced and investors digested positive news on the housing market.

Market indexes traded as high as 0.5% in the early morning and dropped 1% in the next three hours of trading.

Front-month futures of crude oil declined 74 cents to $93 a barrel and gold increased $9.20 to $1,613.80 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year bond yield rose to 1.89%.

Housing Activities at 5-year High

Home construction activities increased in February matching expectations set by economists.

Single-family home building increased to a nearly five-year high and January data was revised higher.

Privately owned housing starts in February increased 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 917,000 from the revised 910,000 rate in January. Starts increased 27.7% from a year ago month.

Single family housing starts in the month were at a rate of 618000, 0.5% higher than January.

Privately-owned housing completions in the month increased 0.6% and sing-family housing completions in the month rose 3.6%.

Housing permits in the month surged 4.6% in February and soared 33.8% from a year ago month to 946,000 annual rate.

European Markets Struggle

European markets extended losses for the second day in a row and markets around the euro zone and in the UK declined.

The FTSE 100 index in London fell 0.3% and the DAX index in Frankfurt plunged 0.8% and in Paris CAC 40 index plunged 1.3%.

European debt crisis took another turn after lawmakers in Cyprus are likely to vote against the measures to tax depositors as a part of 10 billion euro bailout.

Separately, construction output in the euro zone in January fell 1.4% from the previous month according to the latest data released by the eurostat.

However, a private survey in Germany showed economic expectations index for March increased to highest level since April 2010.

Asian Markets Rebound

Markets in Asia traded higher after the Nikkei index in Tokyo rebounded 2% after falling as much as 2.7% on Monday. Index in Shanghai soared 0.8% after falling 1.7% on the previous day.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc