By Michael Jaffe
The weak stock market and sluggish economy have brought concerns about housing prospects, but sector variables now are more positive. The Fed's seemingly ongoing rate-easing program should firm the economy and boost consumer confidence. Mortgage rates also are buyer-friendly.
Standard & Poor's is upgrading the top sector choice, Lennar (LEN ) to buy from accumulate. S&P favors Lennar because it's in one of the leading positions in the nation's top demographic markets and has used differing marketing strategies since its May 2000 purchase of U.S. Home.
S&P reiterates accumulate on Toll Brothers (TOL ) and KB Home (KBH ).
Jaffe follows homebuilding stocks for Standard & Poor's