Market Update

QUOTE OF THE WEEK… “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”–Sun Tzu, ancient Chinese military general, thought to be the author of The Art of War

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE… Investors are seizing the opportunity to invest in Home Depot, the home improvement retailer who’s seizing the opportunities presented by this still young housing recovery. Home Depot just posted adjusted Q3 earnings of 74 cents a share, up 23% from a year ago, evidence there’s a growing number of homeowners sinking money into their properties. Other facts back this up. The U.S. homeowner vacancy rate fell to 1.9% in Q3, a seven-year low. Many feel this signals that the economy has worked off most of the excess housing that had been built.

This better balance in the housing market is boosting home prices and builder confidence. Housing starts are up, as well as construction jobs, following a four-year slump. No wonder investors are bidding up stocks throughout the home improvement sector, including Masco, Whirlpool, Sherwin-Williams, and Home Depot’s competitor Lowe’s. Finally, reports October inventory at 1.76 million units, down 17% from a year ago and 40% below the September 2007 peak. In uncertain times, there’s no place like home.

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