US STOCKS-Housing data hits Wall St; S&P has worst day since Aug 5

lunes 22 de septiembre de 2014 16:22 GYT

* S&P 500 closes below 14-day moving average

* Consumer discretionary names weakest sector on day

* Housing shares fall after existing home sales

* Indexes down: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.8 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday, with the S&P 500 suffering its biggest one-day decline since early August, as the latest housing data came in much weaker than expected, raising new concerns about the rate of growth in the economy.

Equities were also pressured after China's finance minister indicated the country would not increase stimulus measures in response to some weak data of its own.

Existing home sales fell 1.8 percent in August, far from the growth of 1 percent that had been expected. An index of housing shares lost 2 percent as one of the weakest sectors on the day. Among specific stocks, D. R. Horton lost 2.6 percent to $21.37, while Beazer Homes was off 2.8 percent at $18.09 and Toll Brothers shed 3.1 percent to $32.41.

The housing number "points to less strength in the U.S. recovery," said Rex Macey, chief allocation officer at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors in Atlanta, Georgia. "Housing is just too important to the economy, and to have this kind of weakness puts a pretty dark cloud over the market."   Continuación...