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Housing stocks survive rocky day on Wall Street

Government shutdown pushes all major stock indices down, except HW 30

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The HW 30 – HousingWire’s exclusive list of mortgage industry and real estate stocks – rose 1.87% by market close on Wednesday as the nation’s top three stock indices fell on news that the U.S. government remained closed.

Rising real estate stocks buoyed the HW 30 as online real estate sites, Zillow (Z) and Trulia (TRLA), experienced stock price increases of 3.24% and 4.87%, respectively. 

As for why online real estate firms rose during Wednesday trading?

It’s possible real estate stocks reacted confidently to news that real estate brokerage, RE/MAX (RMAX), priced its initial public offering of 10 million shares at $22 per share Wednesday morning. The stock launched under the ticker symbol, RMAX, soaring well above its initial listing price, trading as high as $27.97 mid-day.

For months, analysts have suggested RE/MAX’s IPO is a boon for the housing market since the firm's listing suggests the brokerage is betting on a full real estate recovery.

The trading day turned into a mixed bag for banks, however.

Despite news that a few mega banks are putting legacy mortgage issues behind them through a series of settlements, Wells Fargo’s stock fell after the New York Attorney General filed a new case, claiming WFC failed to uphold terms of the $25 billion mortgage-servicing settlement. Wells Fargo dipped less than 1% on the New York Stock Exchange, while Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) finished up 1.15% and 0.25%, respectively.

This week, the National Mortgage Settlement Committee subjected the five largest servicers to a series of new loan modification guidelines, with all of the mega servicers signing onto the deal and accepting additional oversight.

While housing stocks maintained their momentum, Wall Street remained in the doldrums overall, as the government shutdown weighed investor confidence.

President Obama met with banking leaders Wednesday to discuss the impact of the government shutdown and lingering debt ceiling debate, Reuters reported.

The CEOs of the nations’ largest lenders warned the president about the adverse economic consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling on time, the publication noted.

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