The Commerce Department reported Monday that construction spending plunged by 1.7 percent in January. Builders slashed spending on residential projects, but the weakness spread beyond that ailing sector. There were cutbacks in spending on, among other things, hotels and motels, highways and various projects by state and local governments.
Because it seems likely that future construction will slow, says Karen Finerman, I think the following stocks are worth watching for downside potential.
United Technologies : Although they are a conglomerate, they have a pretty big exposure to the construction space with their HVAC, Carrier and Otis elevator businesses. I think you can short this stock, counsels Finerman.
Cemex : It has a lot of exposure to California and they have a lot of debt.
Ingersoll-Rand : They too have debt, which creates headwind.
Hertz Global Holdings : A lot of their income comes from rental equipment.
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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 4, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (HD); Finerman's Firm Owns (AAPL), (GE), (MSFT), (ODP), (WMT), (YHOO), (NYX); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (LEH); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (INTC), (MER), (SBUX); GE Is The Parent Company Of CNBC; NBC Universal Is The Parent Company Of CNBC; Charles Schwab Is A Sponsor Of "Fast Money"