Source - SMW
Wall Street made a softer start to the last trading day of the week, confounding expectations and despite a rally in commodity price, as both crude oil and gold advanced. 

In early economic news, both building permits and housing starts in the US fell by around 5% in May.

Across the pond, European markets were comfortably higher in afternoon trading.

The Dow was recently down by 0.17% at 21,324.31, the S&P 500 was down 0.26% at 2,426.09 and the Nasdaq was 0.43% lower at 6,139.17.

RISERS AND FALLERS

Wal-Mart and Nike were the standout fallers on the Dow, with the stocks off by 5% and 3% respectively.

Nasdaq listed Costco and Dollar Tree were also on the retreat, offset by Amazon, Seagate and Western Digital, which were all making steady progress.

The S&P 500 saw shares of Whole Foods Market rise by an impressive 28% in early trading.

COMMODITIES

At 2:45pm (GMT), WTI crude was 0.74% higher at $44.79 per barrel and Brent was up 0.92% at $47.35 per barrel. Gold was also higher at $1,256 per ounce.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Privately-owned housing units authorised by building permits in May fell 4.9% month-on-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,201,000, the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development said today.

Meanwhile, privately-owned housing starts fell 5.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,092,000.

University of Michigan's latest consumer sentiment figures, the labor market conditions index reading and Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations are all due later today.