Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) jumped Thursday after Oppenheimer upgraded the home construction company’s outlook, lifting homebuilder sector-related exchange traded funds on Thursday.
Among the better-performing areas of the market on Thursday, the iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSEArca: ITB) increased 2.9%, SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) advanced 2.8%, Invesco Dynamic Building & Construction ETF (NYSEArca: PKB) was up 2.2%, and Hoya Capital Housing ETF (HOMZ) gained 1.7%.
Meanwhile, Lowe’s shares rose 2.8%.
Oppenheimer issued a bullish tactical call on Lowe’s after the home improvement stock hit a rough patch this week.
“For a while, we have maintained a largely cautious and selective stance towards consumer, and in particular shares of key COVID-19 winners, upon concerns of a forthcoming post-pandemic normalization in spending and more challenging comparisons. We are not signaling an ‘all clear’ for LOW or our coverage, broadly. Instead, our refreshed, more upbeat call on Lowe’s is largely tactical in nature and hinged upon prospects for a continued flow of funds into more cyclically focused equities and a now historically discounted valuation versus that of Home Depot,” Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel said in a note.
The homebuilder segment has enjoyed a resurgence this year after an extreme shortage of homes for sale touched a new low in April. According to Redfin real estate brokerage, active listings, which refer to the number of homes for sale, declined 47% for the four-week period that ended April 11 — a new historic low level compared with that same period in 2019, the Washington Post reported.
Exacerbating the shortage, sellers have mainly remained out of the housing market since they are facing the same challenges in trying to find a new home to purchase in a low inventory environment.
“There is a strong understanding of the role an increase in new homes plays in today’s housing market and we hope this momentum will continue throughout the year to ensure there are homes to meet the extreme demand from buyers,” Bill Banfield, Rocket Mortgage’s executive vice president of capital markets, told MarketWatch.
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