New York • U.S. stocks flipped between minor gains and losses in early trading Friday. After taking a hard hit in the middle of the week, major indexes are on track to end it with a slight loss.
Keeping score • Thirty minutes after the opening bell, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down one point to 1,870. The Dow Jones industrial average was up two points to 16,449 and the Nasdaq composite index was down nine points to 4,058.
Housing market • Before the market opened, the Commerce Department said builders started work on more houses in April, as construction surged to its highest pace in six months. But almost all of that increase came from new apartment buildings, a sign that Americans are still struggling to buy single-family houses.