2 Homebuilding Stocks That Could Get Hammered Next Month

Both LEN and TOLL could struggle in the near term

by Patrick Martin

Published on Nov 21, 2018 at 3:00 PM

The housing sector recently has been brutalized by weak economic data. As a result, it has put pressure on homebuilding names Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL) and Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), both pulling back amid the broader market sell-off. And while the two stocks are trading higher today, the selling could be far from over, if history is any guide.

Toll Brothers Options Traders Prefer Puts

At last check, Toll Brothers stock was up 2.2% to trade at $32.40. The shares are now within one standard deviation of their 40-day moving average, after a lengthy stretch below this trendline. In the past, run-ups to these moving averages have been sell signals for TOL stock.

According to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, there have been seven other times where TOL came within striking distance of its 40-day trendline, after which the shares went on to average a one-month loss of 4.11%, and were higher just 33% of the time.

Daily Stock Chart TOL

In the options pits, not surprisingly, near-term options open interest has become unusually put-skewed. This is based on the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.41, which ranks in the 86th annual percentile. This hints at a rare level of skepticism among short-term speculators.

Analysts Loving Lennar Stock Even Amid Struggles

Looking at Lennar, the stock was up 1.4% to trade at $42.78, at last check. On the charts, this puts LEN one standard deviation from its 40-day and average, after spending some time below it. According to White, there have been nine other times where Lennar stock came within striking distance of its 40-day trendline, after which the shares went on to average a one-month loss of 2.5%, and were higher just 50% of the time.

Daily Stock Chart LEN

For a stock that has shed 33% in 2018, there is still plenty of sentiment surrounding the equity. Of the 13 brokerages covering LEN, 12 rate it a "strong buy," with zero sells on the books. In addition, short interest fell 12% in the last two reporting periods. 

However, options traders are less upbeat. This is based on the security's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.28 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), high enough to rank in the 92nd annual percentile.

 

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