Latest Housing Starts, Construction Employment Undermine Strong Q1 GDP

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2020 (advanced estimate) plunged by 4.8% as the coronavirus pandemic put the economy on lockdown. The following categories made positive contributions to GDP in ascending order of their contribution to the percentage change: Housing and utilities: .08% Change in farm inventories: 0.10% Government consumption expenditures … Read more

Housing Downturn: Optimism Races Ahead of the Data – Housing Market Review (April, 2020)

The iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction Index (ITB) gained 4.2% and closed at a 2-month high.

Housing Market Intro and Summary Something surprising is happening in the middle of the current downturn in the housing market: buyers keep coming and home builders are staying resilient and resolute. A series of earnings reports from publicly traded home builders do not reflect the historic plunge in builder sentiment from April (see below). The … Read more

The Walls Cave In On Housing-Related Stocks

The iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction Index Fund ETF (ITB) crashed again, this time with a 20.2% loss. ITB slices right through the 2018 low and closed at a 3 1/2 year low.

It seems every week I need to generate new superlatives to describe the epic collapse in the stock market. For the housing-related stocks, forget animal spirits getting trampled. This time around the walls have all caved in on the sector. Today’s third crash during this sell-off in the stock market featured a complete collapse in … Read more

Home Builders Withdraw As the Stock Market Celebrates

Since November, the performance of the iShares US Home Construction Index Fund ETF (ITB) has lagged that of the S&P 500 (SPY)

The seasonally strong period for home builders begins in November. For this period, home builders tend to outperform the S&P 500 (SPY) which is also in its own period of seasonal strength. So far, home builders have lagged significantly in what I continue to call the moment of truth for home builders. Since November, the … Read more

Home Builder Seasonal Trade Begins 3.5% Away From Major Reversal

On January 22, 2018, the iShares Dow Jones Home Construction ETF (ITB) closed at $46.25, a more than 10-year high. In just two and a half weeks, ITB lost 15.0% and did not bottom until the Christmas Eve market bottom at $28.55. Almost 10 months later, investors have almost reversed this entire loss – just … Read more

Heavy Insider Selling Muddles the Message In Toll Brothers

While the market was going wild buying call options in Toll Brothers (TOL), insiders were selling large quantities of shares. SEC filings reveal almost $2.8M in share sales. Here is a summary with emphasis on the CEO and President (note I mainly care about the sales transactions of C-level executives and SVPs and not board … Read more

The Message in Toll Brothers

Toll Brothers (TOL) soared 5.2% to close at a 15-month high.

The Pairs Trade Exactly one month ago, I pointed to a pairs trade using put options in Toll Brothers (TOL) and call options on the iShares Dow Jones Home Construction ETF (ITB). Home builders selling affordable and otherwise lower-priced homes were rapidly gaining favor. Toll Brothers, a builder of luxury, high-end homes, was greatly under-performing … Read more

Home Builder Breakouts: KB Home and Catch-Up Time for Lennar

The grind played out for about 5 months – including a sell-off in June ahead of earnings. Now, KB Home (KBH) finally managed to break out to a new high for the year. KB Home (KBH) finally joined the growing list of home builders breaking to prices last seen last year and earlier. KBH is … Read more

Home Builder Trade: A Timely Exit or An Opportunity for A Refresh?

With just one day to go until expiration of the short side, my Aug/Oct $39 calendar call spread on the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB) hit its initial profit target. I was hoping the short side would expire worthless, and I could ride the long side expiring in October into the launch … Read more

A Surge in Sales Expectations Helps Send Homebuilder Sentiment to A Fresh 10-Year High

Exactly 10 years ago, the Housing Market Index (HMI) hit 68. The HMI fell relatively quickly from there as the bursting of the housing bubble began in earnest. This month, the HMI hit 64, essentially a fresh 10-year high. This indicator of homebuilder sentiment has marched steadily higher since the trough in the Spring of … Read more