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TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was slightly lower Tuesday as traders digested positive U.S. housing and durable goods data.The financial crisis in Cyprus also kept investors focused as the country’s banks are all scheduled to stay closed until Thursday. Until a late Monday night decision, all but the Bank of Cyprus and Laiki were due to reopen on Tuesday.No reason has been given for continuing the closure, now in its second week, but fears of a bank run are thought to have played a role in the decision.The S&P/TSX composite index slipped 15.3 points to 12,665.41, largely because of lower gold stocks, while the Canadian dollar was up 0.38 of a cent to 98.30 cents US.U.S. indexes were also positive as the U.S. Case/Schiller home price index rose by slightly more than one per cent in January, higher than the 0.6 per cent gain that had been expected.However, sales of new homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 in February, a decline of 4.6 per cent from the January level of 431,000. Economists had looked for an annualized reading of 437,000 for February.The decline in February still left sales 12.3 per cent higher than a year ago.Elsewhere, another report showed that U.S. durable goods orders rose by 5.7 per cent in February, much higher than the 3.8 per cent reading that economists had expected.There was one dark cloud amid the data: U.S. consumer confidence fell in March amid economic angst and government spending cuts. The Conference Board’s March confidence index fell to 59.7 from a revised reading of 68 in February. That’s also below the 68.7 reading that analysts polled by research firm FactSet expected.The Dow Jones industrials was ahead 86.9 points to 14,534.65. The Nasdaq was up 14.01 points at 3,249.31, while the S&P 500 index rose 8.17 points to 1,559.86.There had been initial relief Monday after Cyprus secured a (euro)10-billion bailout loan. The country also had to come up with almost (euro)6 billion on its own and it is doing this by slashing its oversized banking sector and inflicting hefty losses on large depositors in troubled banks.But that relief turned to uncertainty after Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs the meetings of the finance ministers of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, said the Cyprus bailout was a template.He later attempted to retract his comments and described Cyprus as a “specific case with exceptional challenges.” But he left the impression that those with bank deposits above the uninsured level of (euro)100,000 may be tapped in any future bailout.“The initial (and brief) optimism surrounding the deal was met with the cold reality of the question ”where do we go from here?“ said BMO Capital Markets senior economist Carl Campus.“Ratings agencies and investors alike are on high alert.”The TSX gold sector lost about 0.85 per cent while April gold bullion declined $9.10 to US$1,595.40 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) faded 30 cents to C$29.33.The base metals sector slipped 0.32 per cent even as May copper gained two cents to US$3.47 a pound. HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) dipped 11 cents to C$9.54.The energy sector was flat as the May crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 87 cents to US$95.68 a barrel.The tech sector led advancers, with BlackBerry (TSX:BB) up 15 cents or one per cent to $14.66 following a string of stock price declines over uncertainty about how well the new Z10 smartphone is catching on in the U.S.The financial sector was slightly higher as the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has identified Canada’s six largest banks as systemically important to the country. And as a result, Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO), Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM), National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA), Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD) will be subject to enhanced disclosure and a one per cent risk-weighted capital surcharge by Jan. 1, 2016.Mega Brands Inc. (TSX:MB) plans to significantly reduce its outstanding debt by having some of its investors either buy more shares or exchange debt securities for shares on a cashless basis. The Montreal-based company says it expects the outstanding principle of debentures will be lowered by $62.4 million, reducing pre-tax cash interest expenses for Mega Brands by about $6.2 million annually. Its stock rose 62 cents to $14.42.European bourses were higher with London’s FTSE 100 index up 0.3 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.32 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 ahead 0.73 per cent.Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.8 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 per cent.Mainland Chinese shares fell, with the Shanghai Composite Index losing 1.2 per cent while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.7 per cent. Losses were attributed to moves by the government to cool off the real estate sector. read more