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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…

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