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KB Home Led Housing Stocks Higher Despite Weak Single-Family Starts


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I have been tracking the 19 components of the PHLX Housing Sector Index plus Beazer Homes (BZH), which is not in this index. Today's update follows the National Association of Home Builders release of its latest housing market index on Monday and after the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest reading on housing starts on Tuesday.

Here's the rub on these important housing data releases: The NAHB releases its HMI for the current month before the Census Bureau releases housing starts and building permits for the prior month.

Homebuilder confidence rose four points in June to 49 just below the neutral reading of 50. Even so, the NAHB remain concerned about a limited availability of labor. I fact, builders are employing approximately 1.5 million fewer workers today than at the end of 2007.

Homebuilders say that prospective new home buyers remain hesitant waiting for clearer signals that there is a full-fledged economic recovery. Builders are thus reluctant to significantly add to new home inventories.

Housing starts for May fell 6.5% supporting these homebuilder concerns. The NAHB tracks single-family starts which fell 5.9% to an annual rate of 625,000 units down from 664,000 in April. This remains at roughly 60% of the normal 1 million to 1.2 million annual rate of production.

Here are the profiles. The "crunching the numbers" tables follows:

Beazer Homes ($19.51, up 4.6% since May 16) is trading back and forth around a semiannual pivot at $19.47 with a semiannual value level at $13.24 and weekly and quarterly risky levels at $19.94 and $21.17, respectively.

DR Horton (DHI) ($23.48, up 5.8% since May 16) has a tight semiannual value level at $23.01 with weekly and quarterly risky levels at $25.24 and $25.79, respectively.

Hovnanian (HOV) ($4.42, down 2.4% since May 16) is above its 200-week simple moving average at $3.94 with semiannual risky levels at $4.68 and $5.04.

KB Home (KBH) ($17.21, up 8% since May 16) has a semiannual value level at $13.79 with a weekly pivot at $16.86 and semiannual and monthly risky levels at $17.76 and $18.64, respectively.

Lennar (LEN) ($41.30, up 7.2% since May 16) is above its five-week modified moving average at $40.36 with weekly and semiannual risky levels at $42.24 and $44.34, respectively.

MDC Holdings (MDC) ($29.00, up 1.9% since May 16) is above its 50-day simple moving average at $28.41 with a semiannual pivot at $28.73 and weekly and monthly risky levels at $30.62 and $30.71, respectively.

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