Housing Sector Falls on Latest Reports

Housing-related stocks are falling across the board this week, on the heels of two of the week's trifecta of housing reports.
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It's the midway point of a housing report trifecta this week and investors are apparently into the mood to pummel the housing sector in response.

Yesterday, the

Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller National Home Price index said that home prices plummeted a record 19.1% in the first quarter. Today, the National Association of Realtors reported that while

existing home sales grew 2% in April, home prices continued to fall and unsold home inventory grew. Tomorrow morning, the Commerce Department will weigh in with their new home sales figures.

A quick survey of housing-related stocks shows that most were hurting in the afternoon.

Home-improvement retailers took the brunt of investors' frustrations today. Almost all of the major stocks in the sector were changing hands in negative territory, led by

Sherwin-Williams'

(SHW) - Get Report

3.7% drop to $53.22.

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

was changing hands at $19.71, or down 33 cents, while rival

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

was down 38 cents at $23.42.

On the eve of the new home-sales report, homebuilder shares were mixed by the post-noon period, though many of the big names were toiling below yesterday's closing prices.

Centex

(CTX)

was coming in at $9.31, gaining 1% on the day by the afternoon.

Pulte Homes

(PHM) - Get Report

was down by early afternoon, but trading in positive territory late, changing hands at $9.66 or up 5 cents. But

Toll Brothers

(TOL) - Get Report

was at $18.32, down 23 cents or 1.24%.

Lennar

(LEN) - Get Report

saw its shares give up 16 cents, or 1.5%, by the afternoon.

Some of the biggest names in the home-furnishings group were also in the red.

Masco

(MAS) - Get Report

was changing hands down 30 cents, or nearly 3%. Neither

Ethan Allen

(ETH) - Get Report

nor

Knoll

(KNL) - Get Report

were fairing much better, giving up 4 cents and 11 cents respectively since yesterday's close.

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