NEW YORK (
(PHM - Get Report),
The NAHB said early Monday its confidence index, which measures builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months, came in flat at a reading of 16 in May, matching expectations of industry watchers, according to consensus estimates listed on Briefing.com.
Any reading below 50 indicates poor sentiment. The index has not been above 50 since April 2006. Though the index remained unchanged, and has been at a reading of 16 for six of the past seven months, market watchers were pleased it had not fallen this month, bidding builder stocks mostly higher in morning trading. Weyerhaeuser led the group, gaining 2.7% ahead of midday. D.R. Horton (DHI - Get Report) added 2.1%, PulteGroup 1.1%, Lennar 1.6%, and KB Home (KBH - Get Report) 1.5%. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB), an exchange-traded fund that tracks the homebuilder sector, bucked the trend, trading 0.1% lower. Small-cap builders Standard Pacific (SPF - Get Report) and Comstock Homebuilding (CHCI - Get Report) were also in negative territory, shedding 1.1% and 1.5%, respectively.