The S&P 500 was down 0.2% to 2,014.84 in midday trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4% to 17,436.22 and the Nasdaq was flat at 4,635.92
The yield on a 10-year Treasury bond declined 1.4% to 1.79%.
The price of gold rose 1.2% to $1,292.30.
Orange County homebuilders were down on news of a decline in homebuilder sentiment based on an index of builder confidence. The January report from the National Association of Home Builders fell a point to 57, from December’s index reading of 58. A reading of 50 signifies a still generally positive outlook, but economists had expected the survey to tick up slightly.
Irvine-based Tri Pointe Homes was down 4.8% to $13.65 and a market capitalization of $2.2 billion. Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. was down 3% to $6.67 and a market cap of $1.9 billion. Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes was down 5.5% to $17.60 and a market cap of $550 million.