U.S. stock index futures pared gains to briefly turn lower as oil broke $40 after OPEC's decision. Earlier, futures held higher after Friday's jobs report that showed creation of 211,000 jobs in November and a rise in hourly wages. » Read More
Hovnanian CEO Ara Hovnanian said he no longer sees the signs of stabilization in the housing market he did in March, and now warns the industry is still a ways from improvement. “The subprime has gotten a lot of attention and it’s not just been the direct effect of the subprime but the psychological effect, even by those that are not using subprime mortgages.… It’s causing hesitation,” Hovnanian told CNBC’s Erin Burnett on "Street Signs."
Housing is highly cyclical, and stocks in the sector often hit bottom a year before the fundamentals turn sour. A Citigroup analyst says cancellations of new home orders are down and expects the residential housing sector to turn around in the second half of 2007.
Stocks closed mostly higher as investors shrugged off the latest inflation news and energy shares rallied on strength in crude prices.
Good morning. Our quote of the day comes from the poet Horace: "As a rule, adversity reveals genius and prosperity hides it." We'll see just how prosperous the U.S. housing market is today--when the housing starts and building permit numbers come out around 8:30 a.m. ET. We'll have guests including President and CEO Ara Hovnanian of Hovnanian Enterprises..