(Updated for morning session, share price changes)



) -- In the wake of a higher-than-anticipated earnings per share loss from

D.R. Horton

(DHI) - Get Report

, shares of most of the major homebuilder stocks were down in pre-market trading, and that trend picked up pace throughout morning trading.

The frightening report on a record level of mortgage delinquencies released Thursday, combined with the disappointing home-start numbers this week and the general mood on the Street, which pushed down just about everything yesterday, led to an early rush to shed the stocks of homebuilders.

D.R. Horton led the early morning losing, down 6.8% from its closing price, and then, saw the loss double by mid-day to -12.49%. Even homebuilders that had been doing better, such as

Toll Brothers

(TOL) - Get Report

, took a hit, losing 2.0% before the market opened; its stock had essentially the same loss at mid-day.

Pulte Homes

(PHM) - Get Report

, lost 3.78%.

In the case of Pulte, was it the D.R. Horton's earnings, the general turn against the sector after the housing start and foreclosure news, or Jim Cramer's assault on the stock during last night's

Mad Money


Lennar Homes


extended its early morning drop by mid-day to -3.60%.

Meritage Homes

(MTH) - Get Report

was down 2.5%.

It could be a rough afternoon for the homebuilders -- but, after all, they're used to it.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York

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