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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Markets Slightly Off At Opening

Wall Street opened slightly down this morning, responding to pressure from record-low housing construction in April.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down about 20 points, or about one-quarter of 1 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down about the same amount and the broader S&P 500 is essentially flat.

The Commerce Department's April housing data showed two pictures: A slight rebound in housing starts was offset by a steep plunge in new apartment-building construction.

Still, the report did not move the markets as low as it might have, because traders are happy to see excess apartment inventory burn off. Meaning, they're glad to see that new apartment buildings are not being built until all the new, near-empty ones fill up.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 19, 2009; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: dow, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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