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Most HW 30 stocks plummet, while PHH rises on unit sale rumors

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Housing stocks tied to the HW-30 index compiled by HousingWire experienced an abysmal trading day Monday as the government remained closed – and Fannie Mae released a report suggesting consumers on the housing side have had enough and are now a bit bearish.

Reportedly, gains made on the housing front were offset by some of the gloom and doom, caused by a combination of the government shutdown, rising mortgage rates and the ongoing ‘where do we go from here’ mentality that's being perpetuated by Congress, the markets and the media.

Fannie’s latest housing survey of consumers put it simply: consumers are still shaky.

"Our September National Housing Survey results show that the improvements in consumer housing attitudes witnessed in recent months softened ahead of the government shutdown," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

And with the government closed, housing stocks are simply not doing well. The entire HW 30 index fell 1.43% Monday, following the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 down.

In fact, only four HW 30 stocks saw gains Monday, the rest plummeted. One of the major gainers was lender/servicer PHH Corp. (PHH), which is now subject to rumors that the firm is planning a possible sale of multiple units, including the mortgage business. PHH shot up 5.62% in Monday trading.

The stock was accompanied by a few other gainers --  REIT Two Harbors, which rose a minor 0.10%; Realogy Holdings (RLGY), up 2.56%; and Lennar Corp. (LEN), rising a minor 0.03%.

Other stocks tumbled, including big banks, Bank of America (BAC), down 1.71%; JPMorgan Chase (JPM), down 1.59%; and Wells Fargo (WFC), which fell 1.65%.

The big lenders tumbled as analysts discussed the possibility of weaker third-quarter earnings.

Lenders also continued to struggle with the shutdown. While they’re adapting, the government shutdown is starting to slow mortgage processing, with banks trying to do as much work on new originations without having access to the Internal Revenue Service.

The overall takeaway from the markets Monday: With the government closed and investors worried about the debt ceiling and political gridlock, the market is simply in the doldrums for now.

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