Stock Market News Today: Housing Starts Weigh on Share Prices

Stock Market News Today, Jan. 17: The Dow is up but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq down in afternoon trading, and here's why...

Housing market data today revealed that new home construction fell 9.8% in December to a seasonally adjusted rate of 999,000. The numbers were weighed by starts for single-family homes and apartments, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average today is up 0.4% or 66.6 points at 16,475, the Standard & Poor's 500 is down 0.2% or 3.7 points at 1,844 and the Nasdaq Composite Index is off 0.2% or 14.3 points at 4,211.

Among losers in the stock market today, United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) fell about 2% after it cut its fiscal 2013 guidance to $4.57 per share from a range of $4.65 to $4.85 per share. And Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) is off more than 3% as it reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.51 per share, which is $0.01 below the Street at $0.52.

In energy futures, light sweet crude oil for February delivery is up about $0.25 to $94.23 per barrel. Natural gas is down about $0.05 to $4.27 per 1 million BTU. Metals are positive, with gold futures up about $11.10 to $1,251.40 per ounce and silver futures up $0.29 to $20.35 an ounce.

Financial News Today: Mortgage Demand Boosts Morgan Stanley

Meanwhile, several financial companies' earnings reports have been triggering significant stock movements this week.

Today, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is up about 5% even after it reported fourth-quarter non-generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) EPS of $0.20, down from $0.49 a year ago.

Morgan Stanley's fourth-quarter net revenues rose to $8.2 billion. Analysts had been looking for $8 billion.

Morgan Stanley's stock is rallying in part on the fact that its plans to increase share repurchases and raise dividends as its demand for mortgages has been increasing.

MS isn't the only big financial mover today...

Commercial banking company SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) is up about 4% after it reported 2013 net income of $413 million, $0.77 per diluted share. That topped the Street view of $0.69 per share.

SunTrust Banks' revenue was $2.1 billion, down from $2.3 billion in the prior-year period but in line with analyst estimates.

Technology Stock News Today: IBM, Wipro

Several technology stocks are also on the move today.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) shares are up about 1% after it said it would sink $1.2 billion into expanding its global cloud technology footprint with a network of data centers.

IBM plans to open 15 new data centers worldwide, adding to its existing global footprint of 13 global data centers from SoftLayer and 12 from IBM.

And American depositary shares of Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) are down about 2% today even as it reports third-quarter earnings slightly above expectations and revenue in line with Street estimates.

Healthcare Stocks: Keryx, ARIAD

In healthcare stock market news today, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: KERX) is up about 10% after its Japanese partner, Japan Tobacco Inc., received manufacturing and marketing approval of ferric citrate from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Ferric citrate, which can treat chronic kidney disease, can now be marketed in Japan by JT's subsidiary, Torii Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., under the brand name Riona.

Finally, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARIA) shares are up more than 3% after the company said its Iclusig drug that treats refractory chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia is commercially available in the United States.

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