NEW YORK (
Stocks in the homebuilder sector
were mixed but mostly lower Wednesday following the
latest round of discouraging housing data
(PHM - Get Report)
, recently added to Goldman Sachs' conviction buy list, led the group with a 1.4% gain, while
(TOL - Get Report)
and several of the small-cap builders dragged the sector lower.
(MHO - Get Report)
lost 2.9% while
(CHCI - Get Report)
SPDR S&P Homebuilders
iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction
, exchange-traded funds that track the homebuilder sector, were both trading in negative territory, down 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.
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.
February's new-home sales figure remained 28% below year-earlier levels. Every U.S. region, save for the West, saw record lows last month. The Northeast saw sales drop 57% month over month.
-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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