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OPINION

Homebuilders A Tad Less Confident

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Things are fairly quiet as the S&P and Dow trade near record highs. Positive bias remains with the major indexes up slightly. The interesting action is in the NASDAQ, which is up 0.56% and making a good move at midday. The chips are up and acting great on the news of Softbank buying ARMH.  NASDAQ advancers (53%) move better than decliners (43%) on solid up volume (71%) vs down volume (28%). AAPL is trading just under $100 and tech stocks were leading the advance Monday.  Oil is off 2% and looking for support in the $45 range.  Gold however is up after the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

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On the economic news front, builder confidence for new single-family homes fell to 59 in July down 1point from June according the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). “For the past six months, builder confidence has remained in a relatively narrow positive range that is consistent with the ongoing gradual housing recovery that is underway,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady. “However, we are still hearing reports from our members of scattered softness in some markets, due largely to regulatory constraints and shortages of lots and labor.”

According to NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, “The economic fundamentals are in place for continued slow, steady growth in the housing market.” He continued, “Job creation is solid, mortgage rates are at historic lows and household formations are rising. These factors should help to bring more buyers into the market as the year progresses.”  All three HMI components were lower in July. Current sales expectations and buyer traffic each declined by 1point to 63 and 45, respectively. Sales expectations for the next six months declined 3 points to 66. The Northeast, Midwest and South were unchanged at 39, 57 and 61, respectively. The West was up 1 point to 69.

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