HOMEBUILDER REPORT LEAKS, SENTIMENT HITS 7-MONTH HIGH (XHB)
The NAHB's August housing market sentiment stats crossed the wires well ahead of their scheduled release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
The headline index climbed to a seven-month high of 55 in August from 53 in July.
This was stronger than the 54 expected by economists.
"After leaping decisively into positive territory in July, home builder sentiment pulled another surprie in August," wrote CNBC's Diana Olick in a post published at 9:45 a.m. ET.
"Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose in August to the highest level in seven months, showing the industry is making more headway after weakness earlier this year," reported Bloomberg's Vince Golle in a story published at 9:50:03 a.m. ET.
“As the employment picture brightens, builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market,” said the NAHB's Kevin Kelly. “However, builders still face a number of challenges, including tight credit conditions for borrowers and shortages of finished lots and labor.”
Markets continued to move higher after the report was released. The S&P 500 is up 0.7% in early trading.