After a day of small ups and downs, stocks closed with losses Tuesday, ending a three-day rally.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 13.4 points, about 0.08 percent, at 17,217.1. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was off nearly 3 points, about 0.1 percent, at 2,0302.8. The Nasdaq dropped 24.5 points, about 0.5 percent, to nearly 4,881.

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CRUDE ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down at $46.09 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

THIS NEW HOUSE: The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 6.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million homes. A 17 percent surge in multifamily housing, which includes apartments, accounts for nearly all of the increase.