Any reading below 50 indicates poor sentiment. The index has not been above 50 since April 2006. Though the index remained unchanged, and has been at a reading of 16 for six of the past seven months, market watchers were pleased it had not fallen this month, bidding builder stocks mostly higher in morning trading. Weyerhaeuser led the group, gaining 2.7% ahead of midday. D.R. Horton ( DHI) added 2.1%, PulteGroup 1.1%, Lennar 1.6%, and KB Home ( KBH) 1.5%. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ( XHB), an exchange-traded fund that tracks the homebuilder sector, bucked the trend, trading 0.1% lower. Small-cap builders Standard Pacific ( SPF) and Comstock Homebuilding ( CHCI) were also in negative territory, shedding 1.1% and 1.5%, respectively.
The homebuilder sector is well off its late-spring peak, when
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