Homebuilder PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM) is leading homebuilding stocks into another trough today following a downgrade from S&P Capital IQ to ‘Strong Sell’. MarketWatch cites an analyst’s comment on Pulte that likely applies to the entire homebuilding group:
We expect foreclosure activity to pick up as the year progresses, adding additional pressure to prices and new home sales. We think growth in housing will be muted, below consensus expectations.
Homebuilders like Pulte, D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), and M/I Homes Inc. (NYSE: MHO) are all up between 22% and nearly 44% since the beginning of the year, with most peaking in mid-March. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE: XHB) is also up nearly 25% so far this year. Today, all are down more than -3.5% on the CapIQ note.
Shares of PulteGroup are down -5% at $9.00 in a 52-week range of $3.29-$9.69. That 52-week high was set just two days ago, on an earnings report from another homebuilder that sent most sector stocks to or near annual highs, even though the S&P Case-Shiller housing price index came out on the same day with a poor report on house prices.