Homebuilders slide amid downgrades, weak data

|By:, SA News Editor

The homebuilders are under pressure in early action amid another set of downgrades for individual names (Toll Bros., Pulte, Lyons today), and another slowdown in mortgage applications.

The MBA Mortgage Application Index fell 2.1% last week, with the Purchase Index off 1% on the week and 17% from a year ago.

Reporting on Credit Suisse's latest monthly agent survey, CNBC's Diana Olick says homebuyer traffic is falling and demand is "underwhelming," but the respondents cite higher rates and home prices, not the weather.

XHB -1.3%, ITB -1.7%.

Individual names: Hovnanian (HOV -1%), Lennar (LEN -1.2%) D.R. Horton (DHI -1.3%), Ryland (RYL -1.5%), KB Home (KBH -1.9%), Standard Pacific (SPF -1.5%), MDC Holdings (MDC -1.9%).