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Stocks mostly fall on data; IBM lifts Dow

NEW YORK — Stocks mostly fell Tuesday as mixed reports on home prices and consumer confidence gave investors little incentive to step into the market.

A decision by IBM Corp. to double its stock-repurchase plan propped up the Dow Jones industrials, but the Nasdaq composite index slid after Baidu Inc., the Chinese Internet search company, warned its revenue could take a hit as it switches its advertising system.

Bond prices rose after strong demand at a government debt auction, signaling that investors are still seeking safety.

Stocks rose at the start of trading following a report that home prices in 20 major metropolitan markets increased for the third straight month in August. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index gained 1 percent in August from July.

However, the higher home prices weren’t enough to offset worries that consumers might not be in a mood to spend this holiday season.

Analysts say the coming days could be choppy as traders look for fuel to extend the market’s climb. The down days are welcome by those who say the advance has been too quick.

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