NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is flat on Tuesday and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are higher. TheStreet's Debra Borchardt spoke to Keith Bliss, senior vice president at Cuttone & Company, about the recent homebuilder data. 

The housing market index dropped to 46 in February, missing economists' expectations and last month's mark of 56. Bliss said homebuilders blame the weather for the decline but he isn't buying that excuse.

Borchardt argued that the polar temperatures in the Midwest, ice storms in the South, and mountains of snow in the Northeast have hindered home sales this winter. 

While Bliss did acknowledge that this may indeed be the case, he said it's hard to say weather has been responsible for all the other declines in the economy. 

He emphasized that investors should analyze Wednesday's housing starts data, specifically the report's detail on housing permits. If the permit number is low, it could be a sign that homebuilders are less optimistic looking out six to nine months from now. This could cause some weakness in the housing industry, Bliss concluded.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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