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Sector Update: Consumer

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 4/16/2014 1:24:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: LEN

Consumer stocks were climbing Wednesday, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 advancing 0.7% while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were up 0.8% this afternoon.

In company news, Lennar Corp ( LEN ) shares declined Wednesday, likely pulled under by new data on new-home construction and building permits.

Construction on new U.S. homes rose 2.8% last month over February levels to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, the Commerce Department said. That was down 5.9% from year-ago levels, and it also lagged the market consensus looking for a 965,000 annual pace. February results were revised upward to a 1.9% rise, reversing the 0.2% drop initially reported by the agency.

Building permits also declined in March, falling 2.4% to an annual rate of 990,000 units.

LEN shares were down about 0.7% in recent trade at $38.53 each, just 6 cents off its session low. The stock has a 52-week range of $30.90 to $44.40 a share, little changed in value through Tuesday's close over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) WWE, (+3.7%) Said its WWE Network reached 1 mln U.S. households following Feb. 24 launch, including six hours of live streaming during WrestleMania 30 on April 6. Roll-out planned in Canada, UK and other countries late this year or early 2015.

(+) SODA, (+8.2%) Said to be in talks to sell a 10% to 16% equity stake to one of the major soft-drink companies, according to Calcalist, an Israeli business journal. The buyer would pay $52 a share, a 38% premium, and also receive options that could give it a majority position.