Updated from 9:02 a.m. EST

Reports on the economy Thursday showed typically mixed results, with the housing sector cooling off, while durable goods orders jumped. First-time claims for jobless benefits rose.

Sales of new, single-family homes reportedly fell 15.1% last month, the largest percentage drop in nine years.

Separately, the Commerce Department said durable-goods orders shot up 3.3% in January after falling in the two previous months because of weakening transportation-equipment orders.

Excluding transportation equipment, orders rose 2.5% in January, compared with a gain of 1% in December. Durable goods are supposed to last for more than three years.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 11,000 to 417,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average came in at 399,750.