More mixed signals from the closely watched macroeconomic metrics appear on the latest, updated version of the Quikrete Industry Dashboard.
It was a strong month for total housing starts (despite a dip in single-family construction in December), but it was a tough month for the stocks.
At a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.702 million, total housing starts increased in December over the prior month (up 1.4%) and the prior year (up 2.5%). Single-family housing starts fell 2.3% to a rate of 1.172 million compared to the revised November figure of 1.199 million.
On the Stock Roundup, six ticker symbols have migrated into negative territory for the month, following a rough week on Wall Street. On the bright side: all the stocks are up for the year.
Sales for building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS 444, which includes home centers and hardware stores) increased in December to an unadjusted $38.656 billion, up 11.7% from a year ago. Compared to November, however, NAICS 444 sales declined slightly.
Meanwhile, the subset of hardware stores, or NAICS 44413, were released for November, showing a 12.2% increase over a year ago, but no gain over October.
Those sales trends were in line with the overall retail sales trends reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The report showed sales for December 2021, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were up 16.9% over the year, but down 1.9% compared to the prior month.