Friday Charts: A Nasty Game of Chicken… Wall Street Style

By Trefis Team,

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Submitted by Wall St. Daily as part of our contributors program

Every Friday, I undergo a transformation: I switch from being the boring professor - who specializes in droning, long-winded lectures - to the nutty professor, who blows crap up.

That might be a bit of an exaggeration.

But instead of boring you with words, I mix it up and enlighten you with a few striking charts.

Longtime readers tell us it's their favorite column of the week. Let us know if you agree by dropping us a line at .

Without further ado…

Who'll Flinch First?

Based on the latest National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) sentiment index, homebuilders are more cheerful than they have been in a long, long time.

The latest reading jumped from 51 to 57 - the highest in seven and a half years.

The move caps off a two-month, 13-point rise, too, which hasn't happened since "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred topped the music charts. (That was in February 1992, in case you stink at pop culture trivia.)

So are investors just as enthusiastic about homebuilding stocks? Er… not so much.

Ever since mortgage rates spiked, they've run for the exits, setting up one of the biggest divergences in recent history.

Homebuilders' sentiment and homebuilding stocks traditionally move in lockstep with one another. But that's not happening right now, setting the stage for the biggest game of "Chicken" on Wall Street.

As Bespoke Investment Group notes, "Going forward, it will be interesting to see if this recent divergence corrects itself - either by housing stocks picking back up again, or homebuilder sentiment pulling back."

My money is on housing stocks reversing course. Anyone care to wager with me on that?

Yes, Mobile is Kind of a Big Deal

Occasionally, I get ridiculed for my over-the-top enthusiasm regarding all things mobile and the runaway growth in the sector.

But it's warranted. And here's the proof…

In the last decade, the number of mobile phone subscriptions has surged from 662 million to 6.4 billion, according to the International Telecommunications Union.

That translates into a 91% global penetration rate, making mobile phones one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the world. Only steel blades, cotton t-shirts, aluminum pots and plastic bottles are more prevalent (if they actually count as innovations).

Even more staggering is the uptick in mobile internet usage. The number of users recently topped two billion.

So forget Ron Burgundy… mobile is kind of a big deal. Invest accordingly. Or miss out.

That's it for today. Before you sign off, though, do us a favor: Let us know what you think about this weekly column - or any of our recent work at Wall Street Daily - by sending an email to, or leaving a comment on our website .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , US Markets
Referenced Stocks: BOND , GOOG , ITB , WFC

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