LATE FALL: Major stock indexes fell in the last half-hour of trading after rising as much as 0.4 percent earlier in the day.
BETTER ECONOMIC REPORTS: The Commerce Department said that consumer spending rose more than expected in February, while a separate report showed that pending home sales rose during the same month.
THE INDEXES: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 22.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,197.88. The S&P 500 index fell 3.61 to 1,310.19. The Nasdaq composite dipped 12.38 to 2,730.68.