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US stocks down after weak housing report

NEW YORK, Oct 26 – US stocks opened lower on Tuesday after data showed the beleaguered housing market was still struggling and as traders took in a string of corporate earnings reports.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 67.32 points (0.60 percent) to 11,096.73 points in opening trades, while the broader S&P 500 index lost 6.40 points (0.54 percent) at 1,179.35 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq composite index was down 18.66 points (0.75 percent) to 2,472.31 points.

Before the opening bell, a key monthly report showed US home prices accelerated their decline in August from July, adding new concerns over the housing market, already shaken by the recent foreclosures scandal.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.3 percent in August from July on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a 0.6 percent rise in July.

In corporate news, US automaker Ford reported its profit jumped nearly 70 percent in the third quarter, boosted in part by rebounding sales in North America, and said it would accelerate plans to pare debt.

Ford Motor Company posted net income of 1.7 billion dollars, or 43 cents per share, in the July-September period, an increase of 68 percent from a year ago, and much better that most forecasts.

Its shares slightly declined 0.6 percent in opening trades.

Texas Instruments saw its shares fell 1.7 percent after the chipmaker posted higher-than-expected results Monday, but gave a tepid outlook for the current quarter.

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Chemical making giant DuPont\’s shares also fell 2.1 percent after it posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit of 367 million dollars as sales rose in all six business units and across the globe.

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