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Stocks Rebound From Early Losses, Major Averages Mixed - U.S. Commentary

Stocks are mixed in mid-day trading on Friday. An unexpected drop in new home sales sparked selling in the mid-morning, but shares have rebounded lately. The Dow and S&P 500 have moved into positive territory, although the Nasdaq continues to show a modest loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 32 points to 13,078. The S&P 500 is up 3 points to 1,396. The Nasdaq is down 5 points to 3,058.

New government data released this morning showed that new home sales fell 1.6 percent in February, dropping to a pace of 313,000 homes. Prices were up, however, climbing 8.3 percent to $233,700.

Bank of America (BAC) is offering a new option for people behind on their mortgage payments. The test program allows delinquent homeowners to stay on in their homes as tenants.

There are also a handful of earnings reports making headlines as well.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) said its quarterly profit rose 8 percent from last year. The bottom line at the owner of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurant chains was boosted by sales that climbed to $2.2 billion from about $2 billion last year.

Micron Technology (MU) announced a loss for its latest quarter, reversing a profit posted in the same period last year. Sales and margins at the memory chip maker both deteriorated.

Nike (NKE) revealed a quarterly profit that rose 7 percent from last year. The athletic shoe maker said its revenue jumped 15 percent to nearly $5.9 billion.

IT services company Accenture (ACN) reported a stronger-than-expected rise in its quarterly profit. The company benefited from revenue growth across all operating groups. Accenture also raised its expectations for the full year.

Asian stocks generally finished the day lower. Japan and China both posted losses of about 1.1 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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