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TheStreet Open House

3 Amazing Clues That the Housing Market Recovery Has Abruptly Slowed

Stocks in this article: LL BZH HOV TOLL PHM HD WHR MHK OC

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. housing market recovery has slowed, and not many average investors are taking notice. Consider what close to eight months of sluggish new and existing home sales, due to price gouging homebuilders and higher mortgage rates, has done to early cycle (companies selling products needed early on in the building process) housing stocks.

One-Month Performance

  • Lumber Liquidators (LL): -8.40%
  • Owen's Corning (OC): -2.98%
  • Mohawk Industries (MHK): -0.14%
  • Beazer Homes (BZH): -4.23%
  • Pulte Homes (PHM): -1.28%
  • Toll Brothers (TOL): -2.81%
  • Hovnanian (HOV): -5.56%

When Owen's Corning recently warned of weak roofing sales I made a mental note. When Whirlpool (WHR) needed increased marketing to move appliances in the U.S. last quarter, I began working the phones of contacts on the ground. Then I went looking for odd clues at home improvement retailers to justify the information I was receiving.

Holding housing stocks that are 10% off from their peak? I suggest doing a bit of grassroots research such as I did below at Home Depot (HD) to gauge whether the key spring season for housing could be surprisingly mediocre, hurting the outlooks for the companies mentioned above.

Turn up the sound on these Vines!

Plants in the parking lot = Home Depot hoping to catch the attention of those on the highway.

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