The Dow edged up, but the latest twists in Europe’s debt drama weighed on stocks, offsetting good news about US housing: Builders broke ground on more homes in January than expected. Investors focused on Cyprus, where lawmakers rejected a bank bailout that called for raiding ordinary citizens’ savings. That leaves help from international lenders in doubt; without external funds, the country’s banks could collapse and Cyprus might abandon Europe’s joint currency, the euro. Yet many investors were betting against worst-case scenarios; the European Central Bank’s chief has vowed the 17-nation currency union will survive.
Europe’s drama holds back the market
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