Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) sank into negative territory this morning as a disappointing report about the real estate sector emerged.

New home sales had an unexpected 3.6% drop in September. Waning effects from the government’s tax credit for first-time homebuyers are being blamed for the decline, reports Alan Zibel for the Associated Press. September’s decline was the first since March. SDPR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEArca: XHB) is down more than 3% this morning. For more stories on real estate, visit our real estate category.

The Treasury Department and the GMAC, the former lending arm of General Motors, are in talks for a third round of taxpayer-funded aid. The Treasury mandated that GMAC raise another $11.5 billion after stress tests, but the lender has had to go back to the government for more cash, Reuters reports.

ConocoPhillip’s (NYSE: COP) announced its third-quarter earnings fell 71% from a year ago. The company blames lower gas and oil prices along with poor refining margins, reports Isabel Ordonez for Dow Jones Newswires. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) are expected to report lower earnings tomorrow and Friday, respectively. Vanguard Energy (NYSEArca: VDE) is down more than 2% this morning; ConocoPhillips is 6.6%; Chevron is 13.1%; and Exxon is 19.5%.

Durable goods orders in September climbed, which is being hailed as a favorable sign for U.S. manufacturing. The 1% jump is the fourth increase in six months, reports Greg Robb for MarketWatch.

For more stories on oil, visit our oil category.

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