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Stocks Slip at Close but Nasdaq Still Manages Third Weekly Gain

<p>Stocks slipped after early gains were trumped by a weak housing sales report and word the Fed will continue slowing its stimulus.</p>
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Stocks slipped on Friday, but the Nasdaq hung on for a third weekly gain, as investors considered corporate results and a downbeat economic report on housing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 29 points lower, the S&P 500 lost 3 points and the Nasdaq was down 4 points.

Sales of existing homes fell last month to their lowest in more than a year, with the National Association of Realtors reporting January sales fell 5.1 percent versus expectations for a 3.5 percent drop.

Equities cut earlier gains after Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said he would continue to promote the central bank rolling back on its monthly asset purchases.

The dollar edged lower against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans shed 2 basis points to 2.729 percent.

Crude-oil futures declined 55 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $102.20 a barrel; gold climbed $6.70, or 0.5 percent, to $1,323.60 an ounce.