U.S. stocks fell on Friday, as investors considered results from companies including Intuit and another downbeat economic report, this one on housing.
After rising 58 points and falling 34, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29.93 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 16,103.30. The S&P500 dropped 3.53 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,836.25, and the Nasdaq shed 4.13 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,263.41.
Sales of existing homes fell last month to their lowest in more than a year, with the National Association of Realtors reporting sales in January fell 5.1 per cent versus expectations for a 3.5 per cent drop.
On Friday, the president and opposition leaders in the Ukraine signed a tentative agreement to end violence in which 77 people were killed, but Nolte downplayed the notion that the deal helped propel stock gains, saying that stocks were not in decline while the bloodshed was occurring.
Equities cut their gains after Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said he would continue to promote the central bank rolling back on its monthly asset purchases.
In commodity markets, oil prices fell as investors booked profits from the week's solid gains that put prices at their highest since the start of 2014. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery, lost 55 US cents in its first day of trade on Friday, closing at $US102.20 a barrel. In London trade, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April slid 45 US cents to settle at $US109.85 a barrel.
Gold futures rose, Gold for April delivery rose $US6.70, or 0.5 per cent, to settle at $US1,323.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copper futures closed flat on the London Metal Exchange (LME). At the PM kerb close on Friday, LME three-month copper was unchanged on the day at $US7,155 a metric ton.
Aluminium also was flat, closing at $US1,772 a ton.
The US dollar edged higher against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners. At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 89.76 US cents, down from 89.98 US cents on Friday.
Ahead in economic news, no major economic news is expected in Australia today. In the US the national activity index is released along with the the Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing business index.