US stock indexes mostly higher in morning trading, extending market rally into a fourth day

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Major stock indexes edged mostly higher Monday but the gains were held back by discouraging data on U.S. home sales and a deepening slide in oil prices.

The market is coming off a big advance last week, which gave the Standard & Poor's 500 its second-biggest weekly gain this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,873 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,070. The Nasdaq composite rose a point to 4,766.

The price of oil fell $1.74 to $55.39 a barrel.

Homebuilders fell following a report that sales of previously occupied homes fell last month to the slowest pace in six months.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.18 percent.

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