- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Investors are showing little reaction to better-than-expected data about the battered housing market.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday new home construction rose unexpectedly to an annual rate of 583,000 in February from a revised 477,000 in January. Building permit applications, a key measure of future activity, also rose. Applications increased 3 percent to an annual rate of 547,000.

Separately, a key inflation report shows wholesale prices rose 0.1 percent in February. The producer price index rose 0.8 percent in January.

After the reports were released, Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 10 to the 7,226 level. Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures are up 0.2 to the 755 level, while Nasdaq 100 index futures is rising 3 to the 1,155 level.

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