June 16, 2022, 8:49 a.m. EDT

Home builder stocks hit hard after disappointing housing starts data

Share of home builders were broadly lower Thursday, after data showing that U.S. housing starts fell a lot more than expected in May. The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (BATS:ITB) sank 2.0% in premarket trading, putting it on track for a near two-year low, as futures (CME:ES00) for the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) shed 1.7%. Among the ETF's more active home builders, Lennar Corp. (NYS:LEN) dropped 2.7%, Toll Brothers Inc. (NYS:TOL) fell 1.9%, KB Home (NYS:KBH) slid 3.4%, PulteGroup Inc. (NYS:PHM) lost 0.7% and D.R. Horton Inc. (NYS:DHI) shed 3.0%. The ETF's biggest premarket decliner was Tri Pointe Homes Inc.'s stock (NYS:TPH) , which slumped 5.3% after a B. Riley downgrade to neutral from buy, amid concerns over lower future new order activity for the industry as interest rates rise. The annual rate of housing starts in May fell 14.4% to 1.55 million, compared with expectations of a 2.3% decline to a 1.68 million rate. Elsewhere in the housing sector, shares of home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. (NYS:HD) lost 0.5% and online real estate services platform Redfin Corp. (NAS:RDFN) fell 3.0%.

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