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Stocks Close Lower as Cyprus Crisis Continues

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Another positive sign for the housing market couldn't help stocks Thursday.
The Dow closed down 90.24 points, or 0.6 percent, at 14,421.49. The Nasdaq Composite lost 31.59 points to finish the session at 3,222.60. The S&P 500 gave up 12.91 points for the day, ending at 1,545.80.

The latest worries in Cyprus didn't help the markets. The European Central Bank is threatening to end aid to Cypriot banks next week, unless the government comes up with a plan to keep the nation out of bankruptcy.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes rose 0.8 percent last month to the highest level in three years.
A gain in housing permits, a longer manufacturing work week and rising stock prices helped push the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators up a 0.5 percent in February. It might have been higher, but lower orders for large manufactured goods and a weaker consumer outlook limited the gain.
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