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Stocks Head For Lower Open After Housing Data

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are heading for a lower open after the government said new home construction fell by more than expected last month.

The report adds to worries about the U.S. economy that have been heightened by an upheaval in the financial sector. The government has bailed out the insurer American International Group Inc., while Barclays PLC has bought a chunk of Lehman Brothers.

Construction of new homes and apartments fell by a larger-than-expected amount in August, pushing activity to the lowest level in 17 years.

The data illustrate the country remains in the grips of a severe housing downturn that has triggered billions of dollars of losses and is reshaping the structure of U.S. finance.

The decline is larger than the 1.6 percent drop analysts expected and showed weakness in all the country except the West.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Article Topic Follows: News

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