US STOCKS-Wall St slips on fears data point to weak recovery

* U.S. July existing home sales tumble 27 percent

* S&P, Nasdaq at 7-week low, Russell 2000 tests July low

* Indexes down: Dow 0.8 pct, S&P 0.9 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Changes byline, updates to midday trade)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Aug 24 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Tuesday as
data showed home sales last month missed even the most
pessimistic estimates, confirming investor fears that the
economic recovery is weak.

July U.S. existing home sales plummeted 27 percent, a drop
that was twice as steep as expected. For details, see
[ID:nN24196313]

“We have an equity market that is in a trading range. The
ceiling of that range is dictated by the fact that you have all
this data that are coming in consistently below expectations,”
said Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Trust Co
in Philadelphia.

“While we don’t expect a double-dip recession, it’s hard to
see over at least the next couple quarters getting out of this
slow growth environment.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was down 81.89
points, or 0.80 percent, at 10,092.52. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) was down 9.50 points, or 0.89 percent, at
1,057.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was down 21.38
points, or 0.99 percent, at 2,138.25.

The Russell 2000 index (.RUT: ) was down 0.3 percent at
600.81, testing its July low at 587.67.

“A break below that level would see the February low at
580.49 as next support. If the index holds the July low, this
could be where the bulls step in,” said Bryan McCormick,
derivatives analyst at optionMonster.com.

“The S&P 500 has a long way to go to its lows, with next
major support at the familiar 1,040 area. This would be a
fourth time down in three months, and a fifth time this year.
If it holds, you might see a rally attempt,” he said.

The PHLX housing index (.HGX: ) fell 0.2 percent to 90.32,
recovering from a 3 percent drop earlier after it found support
near its July low, right above 87.

Dell Inc (DELL.O: ) is preparing to sweeten its offer for
3PAR Inc (PAR.N: ), according to a Bloomberg report. The move
comes a day after Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ) bid $1.6 billion
for the data storage company.

Shares of 3PAR gained 2.6 percent to $26.77 while Dell fell
3.4 percent to $11.53 and HP, a Dow component, slid 1 percent
to $38.67. [ID:nN23223609]

Medical device maker Medtronic Inc (MDT.N: ) plunged 9.3
percent to $31.74 after it reported first-quarter revenue that
fell from the prior year. [ID:nN24240699]

Discount retailer Big Lots Inc (BIG.N: ) posted
second-quarter earnings that barely beat expectations. It also
raised its 2010 profit view, but the stock slid 2.7 percent to
$30.89. [ID:nSGE67M0KN]

The Dow and S&P are on track for their fourth straight day
of losses, and both the S&P and Nasdaq are at their lowest
point in seven weeks. The Dow is at its lowest level since July
20.

U.S. Treasuries soared as investors shunned stocks, with
the two-year yields to topping yet another record low.
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Padraic
Cassidy)

US STOCKS-Wall St slips on fears data point to weak recovery