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June Housing Starts' 9% Drop Puts Housing Stocks On Shakey Footing

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Stocks related to home construction opened sharply lower Thursday on news of a 9.3 percent drop in June housing construction.

The U.S. Census Bureau said housing starts in June fell to 893,000 units, from one million units in May. Still, the June figure is up 2.7 percent from a year earlier.

Housing permits grew 2.6 percent in June to 631,000 units, from 615,000 in May.

D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) fell 2.8 percent to $24 per share; M/I Homes (NYSE: MHO) was off 2.6 percent at $23.13; Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) fell nearly two percent to $35.56 and New Home (NYSE: NWHM) was down more than two percent to $13.02 per share.

The exchange-traded fund SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSE: XHB) was off about 1.3 percent at $31.02.

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