US homebuilders gain on week

| September 15, 2006 | 0 Comments

New York equities markets were higher at mid-session on Friday on renewed consumer confidence as new data hinted at moderating inflation and as the price of crude oil continued to decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4 percent to 11, 567.41, poised to end the week with a gain of 1.5 percent. The Nasdaq Composite had added 0.2 percent so far on the session to 2,233.51, up 3.1 percent on the week as a whole. The S&P 500 had added 0.2 percent at noon to 1,319.36, for a total gain of 1.6 percent this week.

All the news wasn’t positive, however. With commodities prices down, miners and the oil sector had a losing week. ExxonMobil was 3.3 percent lower to $64.60. Among miners, Newmont Mining fell 8.6 percent to $44.04, while Freeport McMoran dropped 10.6 percent $52.12. Even coal miners were lower, with Consol Energy declining 8.4 percent on the week to $30.41.

Ford Motor also ended the week lower after it said it will cut 14,000 salaried positions in an attempt to save $5 billion per year. The announcement spurred Merrill Lynch to lower its recommendation on Ford from “neutral” to “sell”. Shares in the carmaker were 9.2 percent lower over the week to $8.25.

Homebuilders had a good week, helped by declining yields on 10-year Treasury issues. DR Horton ended the week 10.2 percent higher to $24.25, while KB Home added 12.7 percent to $45.48.

The retail sector saw gains as well. Wal-Mart gained 3.5 percent to $48.36, while home improvement retailer Home Depot added 7.5 percent to $36.85. Electronics retailers were up after Best Buy reported better than anticipated growth in earnings in the second quarter. Best Buy was 15 percent higher during the week to $53.27, and Circuit City followed it higher, adding 12.6 percent to $25.78.

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