Sector Snap: Homebuilders mixed

Homebuilders mixed as encouraging sector survey somewhat offset by lackluster earnings news

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of homebuilders were mixed Tuesday even as a survey showed that U.S. homebuilder confidence is at its highest level in more than seven years. Disappointing earnings news weighed on the overall market and may have deflated some of the housing optimism.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released on Tuesday climbed to 57 in July from 51 in June — the third straight monthly gain.

A reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The index hasn't been that high since January 2006, well before the housing market crashed.

Measures of customer traffic, current sales conditions and builders' outlook for single-family home sales over the next six months vaulted to their highest levels in at least seven years.

The housing market has been helped by steady hiring and low mortgage rates, which has encouraged more people to buy homes over the past year. There's now a limited supply of homes on the market, demand is rising and prices are climbing.

But the positive news from the housing market was tempered by the broader stock market, which was trading lower Tuesday afternoon following a flurry of lackluster earnings news. This included Coca-Cola, which said that it sold less soda in North America in the second quarter.

Here's how some homebuilders are faring:

D.R. Horton Inc. fell 6 cents to $21.66.

KB Home added 12 cents to $19.09

Lennar Corp. shed 11 cents to $35.44

PulteGroup Inc. declined 27 cents to $19.27.

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. rose 1 cent to $5.75.

Toll Brothers Inc. gained 26 cents to $34.10.

The Ryland Group Inc. climbed 28 cents to $40.48.

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