(Existing-home sales winners & losers article updated with additional commentary and closing stock prices.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks in the homebuilder sector were mixed Tuesday on word that existing-home sales plummeted to a 15-year low in July.

The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales fell 27.2% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million units. Economists had expected the figure to come in at 4.72 million units, compared with a downwardly revised 5.26 million in June.

>>Existing Home Sales Fall 27.2%

"The numbers are worse than I thought they would be," ConvergEx Group chief market strategist Nicholas Colas told TheStreet. "The threat of a double dip seems to grow with every economic data point."

Investors watching the homebuilder sector voiced mixed opinions. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ( XHB), an exchange-traded fund that tracks the homebuilder sector, fell sharply after July's existing-home sales data was released, reached into positive territory throughout much of the day and then closed lower by 0.6%. The iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ( ITB) also dipped in early trading but managed to close with a gain of 0.2%.

Leading the sector lower were shares of Brookfield Homes ( BHS), Comstock Homebuilding ( CHCI) and Beazer Homes ( BZH). Brookfield closed down 4.9%, Comstock 4.6% and Beazer 2%.

Tuesday's gainers included Meritage Homes ( MTH), KB Home ( KBH), Ryland ( RYL) and Lennar ( LEN).

NVR ( NVR) lost 0.4% while shares of D.R. Horton ( DHI) were flat for the day.

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