The HW 30 and every other market took a nosedive Friday morning amid a precipitous drop in housing starts and an even more alarming drop in housing permits.
Traders were also mulling over tepid and disappointing earnings reports from some of the bigs like Morgan Stanley (MS) which saw declining profits, Intel (INTC), UPS and General Electric (GE).
Housing starts fell 9.8% from November to December, the biggest drop since April 2013. Single unit housing starts fell to 610,000, which is the lowest since July 2013.
Most concerning, building permits were down 3% from November to December, well below expectations. Starts and permits rose at the slowest pace since mid-2011.
Just before 12 p.m. ET, HW 30 stocks were bleeding red to varying degrees – Impac Mortgage Holdings (IMH) was the loss leader down 3.72%. The only gainers at noon were JPMorgan Chase (JPM), PHH Corp. (PHH), Redwood Trust (RWT), Walter Investment Management Corp. (WAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
The silver lining was the report on industrial production, which saw its fifth monthly increase and finishing the fourth quarter with a four-year high. Industrial production climbed 0.3% after a revised 1% increase in November, according to the Federal Reserve.