Stocks are opening flat after a surprisingly strong housing report.
U.S. builders slowed their pace of housing construction slightly in July. But in a hopeful sign for future construction, applications for building permits rose to their the highest level since August 2008.
The Commerce Department says construction of single-family homes and apartments dipped 1.1 percent in July compared with June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000. In June, the rate had been 754,000, the fastest pace since October 2008.
Cisco Systems is leading the Dow, rising 7 percent. The world's largest maker of computer networking equipment reported earnings that beat expectations late Wednesday.
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