Shares of homebuilders, D.R. Horton (DHI) - Get Report , KBHome (KBH) - Get Report Lennar (LEN) - Get Report , Pulte Group (PHM) - Get Report and Toll Brothers (TOL) - Get Report remain in bull market territory since their post-election lows, but they are also deep in bear market territory vs. their bubble peaks set in July 2005.
The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index gained two points, to 70, in May, just a point below its March high and two points below its all-time high of 72, set in June 2005. Single-family housing starts, the NAHB benchmark, rose by just 0.4% in April to an annual pace of 835,000 units.
The PHLX Housing Index has 19 components and includes companies that provide construction and materials products. Armstrong World (AWI) - Get Report , Lennox International (LII) - Get Report , Masco (MAS) - Get Report , Owens Corning (OC) - Get Report and Vulcan Materials (VMC) - Get Report have under-performed the homebuilders so far in 2017, but still have solid gains since their post-election lows.
Armstrong World provides ceilings and cabinets. Lennox provides air conditioning and heating systems. Masco provides home improvement and building products. Owens Corning makes insulation, roofing and siding products. Vulcan Materials makes the ingredients for concrete and cement. Only Lennox and Owens Corning set new post-election highs this month.
The overall housing market, which includes new home construction, home resales and home improvement projects remain firm, but below potential. The national delay in infrastructure programs has caused some weaknesses since setting post-election highs.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.