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Housing Starts Hit Hard Stop in October

Homebuilders are still evincing confidence, too. Citigroup recently raised its price outlook on Toll Brothers (TOL) from $23 to $25, citing unexpected upside in the stock. Toll's preliminary quarterly results, released last week, indicated that orders were up 42% versus the year ago period. The builder confidence index from The National Association of Homebuilders remained unchanged in October.

Even after the disappointing housing news broke, trading in homebuilder stocks remained mixed in the mid-afternoon.

There were many marginal losers, including Toll Brothers, down slightly (-0.62%); Meritage Homes (MTH) (-0.36%); M.D.C. Holdings (MDC) (-0.19%); and M/I Homes (MHO) (-0.75%).

The outlier on the positive side was Pulte Homes (PHM) up 3.45%. Ryland Group (RYL) was also up 0.55%.

On the pessimistic front, Brookfield Homes (BHS) and Comstock Homebuilding (CHCI) were down 4.05% and 5.95% respectively, mid-afternoon. Orleans Homebuilders (OHB) was down (-1.91%).
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