FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile Takes a Back Seat to Bernanke
At 3 p.m. Tuesday the NAHB issued a press release citing the concerns I have been talking about over the past several weeks. The headline was "Tight Credit, Flawed Appraisals and Erratic Supply Chain Hurt Jobs, Housing."
Perhaps Rick Judson, the new NAHB chairman and homebuilder from Charlotte, N.C., read the FDIC Quarter Banking Profile and concluded that homebuilders cannot keep up with pent-up demand for new homes given the continued tight credit conditions for NAHB members.
According to Judson, builders are "expressing increasing frustration that they can't get access to construction loans to develop lots in markets where demand is on the upswing." This keeps construction workers sidelined and is frustrating potential home buyers and is slowing the housing recovery.
With the spring building season just around the corner, the NAHB is concerned that with inventories of new homes near record lows they will not be able to build in anticipation of demand because community banks are reluctant to lend.
Builders are also pointing out that creditworthy home buyers are having difficulty obtaining mortgages, which is resulting in cancelled home sales.
If you are bullish on the home builder stocks this press release is an important read.
The question of the day is how to trade this market given the cross-currents over the past several days? The daily chart of the S&P 500 is negative with the index between its 50-day simple moving average at 1478.09 and its 21-day SMA at 1510.06. The 200-day SMA lags at 1409.87. In my opinion the S&P 500 peaked at 1530.94 on Feb. 19, so my suggested strategy is to sell strength.
Chart Courtesy of Thomson/Reuters
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.