PulteGroup (PHM), recently added to Goldman Sachs' conviction buy list, led the group with a 1.4% gain, while Toll Brothers (TOL) and several of the small-cap builders dragged the sector lower. M/I Homes (MHO) lost 2.9% while Comstock Homebuilding (CHCI) shed 4.2%.
The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) and iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (ITB), exchange-traded funds that track the homebuilder sector, were both trading in negative territory, down 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.Ryland (RYL) added 0.7%. Sales of newly built homes plunged 16.9% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, a far bigger jump than expected and the worst rate on record since 1962.
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