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Market Preview: The Waiting Game

As for Wednesday's scheduled news, Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV - Get Report) is slated to report its fiscal second-quarter results before the opening bell. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for the Red Bank, N.J.-based home builder to report a loss of 32 cents a share in the April-ended period on revenue of $299 million.

The data on the housing market has been mostly positive of late but Wall Street is taking some profits as the broad market sours. Hovnanian shares closed Tuesday at $1.70, up nearly 20% for the year, but the stock began May above $2.

The home builders enjoyed a huge rally early in the year with Hovnanian's stock hitting a 52-week high of $3.31 on Feb. 9 but bullishness about the volatile group has been waning. KB Home (KBH) reached a peak of $13.12 on March 16 and closed Tuesday at $6.77; D.R. Horton (DHI) finished the day at $14.86, down 17% since hitting a 52-week high of $17.91 on May 2; and shares of Lennar (LEN) have dropped more than 15% since topping out at $30.12 on May 16.

The sell side is still very down on Hovnanian with 11 of the 12 analysts covering the stock at either hold (3), underperform (4) or sell (4), and the 12-month median price target. The company has been a loss maker for years but is starting to grow the top line again. It's missed Wall Street's expectations for its quarterly results in five of the past eight quarters and has $166 million in cash vs. $1.67 billion in debt on the balance sheet so diving in isn't for the faint of heart.

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Hovnanian for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

Other companies reporting quarterly results on Wednesday include Analogic (ALOG), Brown-Forman (BF.A), Cyberonics (CYBX), Men's Wearhouse (MW), Pall Corp. (PLL), Pep Boys (PBY), and Vail Resorts (MTN).

The economic calendar features the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly mortgage application index at 7 a.m. ET; data on productivity and unit labor costs for the first quarter at 8:30 a.m. ET; weekly crude inventories data at 10:30 a.m. ET; and the release of the Federal Reserve's beige book snapshot of economic conditions for May at 2 p.m. ET.
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