According to The Wall Street Journal Morning MoneyBeat, this is what the latest housing data is doing to the stock market.

Here is what Kristen Scholer has to say:

"Amid a rough few months for housing stocks, existing home sales data out Tuesday could give the group a lift.

“If the number comes in better than expected, housing stocks could continue to show upside leadership just because they’ve been beaten up so bad recently,” said Dave Lutz, head of exchange-traded fund trading at JonesTrading.

The PHLX Housing sector index, which tracks companies in the U.S. housing construction market, has lagged the broader market the past four months as the Federal Reserve prepared to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Since late August, the housing index is off 6.3%, versus to a gain of 2.6% for the large-cap S&P index."

Also in The Wall Street Journal, housing reporter Joe Light, wrote this article: New federal rules for mortgage forms blamed for delaying loans

In the must-read piece he declared:

"It is taking home buyers longer to get a mortgage, which some in the real-estate industry say is the result of new federal rules meant to make mortgage terms easier to understand.

Mortgages took an average of 49 days to close in November, a three-day increase from October and the longest closing time since February 2013, according to mortgage-processing firm Ellie Mae. Behind the scenes, some lenders describe disarray as various parties in real-estate transactions carry different interpretations of the same rules.

The changes, implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in October, replace the forms borrowers receive when they make an application and before they close on a mortgage. The new forms are meant to make mortgage terms and fees clear."

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