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U.S. Stocks Erase Early Gains as Investors Weigh Cyprus, Housing

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March 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks erased early gains as investors weighed growth in new-home construction with concern about a plan to impose a levy on bank deposits in Cyprus to help fund the nation’s bailout.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was little changed at 1,552.48 at 10:32 a.m. in New York after climbing as much as 0.3 percent earlier.

Banks in Cyprus and stock exchange will remain closed at least until March 21 amid speculation lawmakers may postpone the vote on the bank levy that’s planned for later today. The 5.8 billion-euro ($7.5 billion) raid on bank accounts, intended to cut the cost of a rescue package to 10 billion euros, sparked outrage when Cypriots woke March 16 after marathon talks in Brussels to find bank transfers blocked.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net

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