Will stocks' green shoots wilt as garden variety bad news returns?

If "less bad" economic news is enough to spur a stock market rally, then plain old "bad" readings on key indicators such as housing starts ought to send markets lower.

And that's precisely what happened today: Builders broke ground on the fewest new homes on record, thanks to a massive decline in new apartment building construction. Combined a bearish take on commercial real estate losses from Moody's that crushed bank stocks, the news undercut a late afternoon rally and pushed the Dow Jones industrial average down 29 points to close at 8,475.

Home Depot (HD), American Express (AXP) and Bank of America (BAC) were among the biggest losers in the DJIA. For more on stocks making moves today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap-up.

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