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US stocks slip at midday on news of slowing home sales; Family Dollar jumps on merger news

Trader Glenn Kessler works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, July 28, 2014. The stock market is opening mixed at the start of a busy week as a batch of merger announcements lift shares in Family Dollar and other companies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. stocks are slightly lower in midday trading after a report of sluggish sales in the housing market.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down three points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,974 as of 12 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 28 points, 0.2 per cent, to 16,932. The Nasdaq dropped 17 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,432.

Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in June amid meagre wage growth and higher prices. Homebuilder D.R. Horton fell 3 per cent, making it one of the biggest decliners in the S&P 500.

Family Dollar soared 23 per cent after Dollar Tree announced plans to buy the rival discount store. Last month, Carl Icahn, who has built up a stake in the company, urged Family Dollar to sell itself.