NEW YORK, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. stock markets struggled to make headway Friday, closing lower on a report the housing sector sagged in January.
The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales fell 5.1 percent in January to an 18-month low. Sales of standing homes have dropped in five of the past six months.
The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 29.93 points or 0.19 percent to 16,103.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 3.53 points, 0.19 percent, to 1,836.25.
The tech-dominated Nasdaq index dropped 4.13 points, 0.1 percent, to reach 4,263.41.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,765 issues advanced while 1,320 declined. Trading was moderate with 3.3 billion shares trading hands.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 416.49 points, 2.88 percent, to 14,865.67. In London, the FTSE 100 index added 25.07 points, 0.37 percent, to 6,838.06.
The 10-year U.S. treasury rose 5/32 to yield 2.732 percent.
The dollar was higher against the euro at $1.3739. The yen was lower at 102.53 yen.
Gold added $6.50, reaching $1,323.40 per ounce on the Comex exchange. Silver gained 11.8 cents to reach $21.835.
Crude oil gave up 48 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reaching $102.27 in late trading.
On the Chicago Board of Trade March delivery corn hit $4.5225 per bushel, off 3.5 cents. May soybeans added 13.75 cents to $13.615. March wheat gave up 8 cents to reach $6.055.