NEW YORK (
Stocks in the homebuilder sector moved higher Monday morning ahead of key reports on the sector due out later this week.
Data on existing- and new-home sales is set to be on Wednesday and Thursday, but that is an unlikely catalyst to the sector's share price run-up Monday morning, said Michael R. Widner, homebuiler analyst at Stifel Nicolaus.
were among the morning's gainers. Microcap builder
California Coastal Communities
bucked the trend, falling 3.7%, though the loss amounted to just one tenth of a penny.
he would be surprised if investors were bidding homebuilder stocks higher ahead of this week's housing data. "There's no reason to believe the numbers will be particularly good," he said, "though I suppose there's no evidence that things have fallen off, in terms of buyer activity, so maybe the risks are weighted to the upside."
The analyst said that the sector's gains Monday more likely reflect market watchers' "positive sentiment of the economy turning a corner in 2011 so investors are taking money off the table of other pro-cyclical sectors like retail and putting it into sectors that haven't really moved yet."
Widner suggested that homebuilder gains may also be a result of "people looking to continue to ride the risk trade," and are "running out of places to put their money."
The homebuilder sector is well off its late-spring peak, when
buyers were rushing to take advantage of federal tax credits for homebuyers, and is only slightly higher than at the beginning of 2010. Whereas other sectors have begun a rebound in earnest, the housing sector continues to lag.
SPDR S&P Homebuilders
, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the homebuilder sector, remains 62.4% off its peak of $46.08 in early 2006. The
iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction
ETF remains 73.9% off its peak of $50.10 in the spring of 2006.
Existing-home sales for November are expected to have risen to an annualized rate of 4.65 million, after falling 2.2% to a rate of 4.43 million in October.
Sales of newly built homes in November are expected to have increased to a rate of 300,000, after falling 8.1% in October to a rate of 283,000 units.
-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
>To contact the writer of this article, click here:
>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to
>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
READERS ALSO LIKE:
Get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site,
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.