US STOCKS-Shares slide after home sales, but support holds

* New home sales tumble to record low in July

* U.S. durable goods orders rise less than expected

* S&P’s Ireland downgrade weighs

* Indexes down: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

(Updates to open, adds home sales data)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 25 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Wednesday,
with the Dow and S&P on track for a fifth straight day of
losses as another weak reading on the U.S. housing market
underlined the prospect of a sharp slowdown.

Concerns about global growth and a less-than-forecast rise
in July durable goods orders pressured equities, but an S&P 500
index technical support level helped buffer losses.

July new home sales tumbled 12.4 percent to a record low,
according to government data, well beneath forecasts. Tuesday
data from an industry group showed an unexpectedly large drop
in existing home sales, ratcheting up concerns that the
economic recovery was even weaker than had been feared.
For details, see [ID:nN25127128]

The data “raises the concerns for a double-dip recession,”
said Wayne Schmidt, chief investment officer of Gradient
Investments in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Housing is certainly an
important part of the economy, and it’s been down and out for a
while.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was down 42.53
points, or 0.42 percent, at 9,997.92. The Standard & Poor’s 500
Index (.SPX: ) was down 5.86 points, or 0.56 percent, at
1,046.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was down 7.56
points, or 0.36 percent, at 2,116.20.

The S&P 500 found support at 1,040, a level closely watched
by chartists. The benchmark hit February, May and early June
lows in the 1,040 area, indicating some investors may see a dip
below it as a buying opportunity.

Standard & Poor’s late on Tuesday cut its credit rating on
Ireland and assigned it a negative outlook, expecting the
country to face substantially higher costs to support its
ailing financial institutions.

U.S.-listed shares of Allied Irish Bank (AIB.N: ) slumped 6.3
percent to $1.95, and the Bank of Ireland (IRE.N: )lost 2.3
percent to $3.77. [ID:nLDE67O0YY]

The move “puts the financial issues with Europe back in the
forefront, and that’s not good news,” said Russell Croft,
co-portfolio manager at the Baltimore-based Croft Value Fund.
“There are a lot of problems there, and every time the economy
takes a step forward it takes another one back.”

Both luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc (TOL.N: ) and
apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEO.N: ) rallied
after reporting quarterly results. Toll gained 4.1 percent to
$16.86 while American Eagle was up 4 percent at $12.99.
[ID:nSGE67O0GI] and [ID:nN25116657]

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by
Padraic Cassidy)

US STOCKS-Shares slide after home sales, but support holds