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August 26, 2009

Markets drift higher into close

U.S. stock markets only drifted narrowly higher into the close in late afternoon trading Wednesday, despite positive housing news.

The sluggish markets didn't get much of jolt from a U.S. Commerce Department report indicating new home sales surged in July, rising 9.6 percent over the previous month's rate, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 4.23 points at 9.543.52, a gain of 0.04 percent.

The Nasdaq composite index was up 0.2 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,024.43, while the S&P 500 finished up 0.12 points, or 0.01 percent, to 1,028.12.

In the bond market, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond finished by yielding 3.4380 percent, off 0.012 percent.

The currency markets saw the euro end at $1.4250, down from Tuesday's $1.4299. The dollar traded at 94.205 Japanese yen, unchanged from Tuesday's figure.