The S&P 500 was down 0.3% in midday trading to 2,026.82.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1% to 17,206.85.
The Nasdaq was down 0.8% to 4,866.62.
The yield on a 10-year Treasury bond was up 2.1% to 2.07%.
The price of gold was up 0.4% to $1,177.
Orange County homebuilders were up as a U.S. Commerce Department report said housing starts rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.5% in September at a pace of 1.21 million units—higher than the 1.15 million that was expected. Multi-family starts grew 18.3% to a 466,000 pace.
Irvine-based CalAtlantic Group was up 2.1% to $42.10 and a $5.1 billion market cap. Irvine-based Tri Pointe Group Inc. was up 2% to $13.96 and a $2.3 billion market cap. Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes was up 4% to $23.25 and a $733 million market cap.
Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. was down 6.5% to $75.25 and a $17.4 billion market cap on speculation the storage products maker would buy competitor SanDisk.