US stocks set to open lower after housing data - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

US stocks set to open lower after housing data

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street is headed for a lower open after the government said new home construction dropped to the lowest pace since 1991.

  The Commerce Department says housing starts fell more than 6 percent in September to an annual rate of 817,000 units.

  That figure is lower than the 880,000 units forecast by Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR.

  Building permits also sank.

  Ahead of the market's open, Dow Jones industrial futures fell 139, or 1.55 percent, to 8,827.

  They were also lower before the report was released.

  The market is awaiting a report on consumer sentiment.

  It is also listening to a speech by President Bush, who is expected to give more details on plans to resolve a financial crisis that has threatened to hurtle an already weak economy into a long, steep recession.

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