The home building sector is getting hit hard in morning trade Thursday, in the wake of disappointing housing starts and building permits data. The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF is shedding 1.5%, with 33 of its 37 equity components trading lower. Among the ETF's most heavily-weighted components, shares of D.R. Horton Inc. slid 2%, Lennar Corp. shed 1.7%, PulteGroup Inc. dropped 2.1%, Toll Brothers Inc. lost 1.9% and NVR Inc. gave up 1.1%. Among the gainers, Lowe's Companies Inc.'s stock rose 0.9% after the home improvement retailer was upgraded at Piper Jaffray, which said its semi-annual home improvement survey pointed to an acceleration of spending intentions.
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