Stocks trade mixed after consumer report

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks flipped between gains and losses in early trading Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 5 points at 13,237 a half-hour after the opening bell Tuesday. Bank of America fell 0.9 percent, the biggest drop in the Dow.

Lennar Corp. led housing stocks higher after the country's third-biggest house builder reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations. Lennar delivered more houses and pulled in more orders. Lennar rose 3.8 percent. PulteGroup rose 4.2 percent, D.R. Horton 3.2 percent.

Stocks opened higher, then slipped after 10 a.m., when the Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence slipped in March. Around the same time, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond reported that a measure of regional manufacturing plunged this month.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up a point at 1,418. The Nasdaq composite index rose four points to 3,126.

Walgreen Co. rose 1.5 percent. The drugstore chain posted a drop in quarterly earnings but the results still topped analysts' expectations.

Apollo Group Inc. fell 8 percent, the biggest drop in the S&P 500. The for-profit education company reported a profit in the most recent quarter but issued a dim forecast. Apollo expects fewer students to enroll in the coming quarter.