11:10am (EST)

We were betting on a good housing number this morning and we got it.

The Commerce Department reported sales rose 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000 from an upwardly revised 405,000 in September.  Wall Street had expected a number of 410,000. 

The surge in sales was driven mostly by a 23% increase in the South.  Sales fell 5% in the West and Northeast, and a whopping 20% in the Midwest but overall, the report was well received.  We did our research last night and we were seeing some things that had us pretty bullish.

As a result, most of the homebuilding stocks we follow got a lift.  KB Home (KB, $13.87, up $0.13), Lennar (LEN, $13.18, up $0.14), Pulte Homes (PHM, $9.43, up $0.13) and Toll Brothers (TOL, $19.53, up $0.03) are all showing slight gains.

The Dow didn’t quite get the pop we were expecting this morning at the open but the index is still up 24 points to 10,458.  The S&P 500 is currently higher by 2 to 1,108 while the Nasdaq is showing a 7 point gain and is at 2,176.

We also note that gold is still hot…the yellow metal is up another $14 to $1,179/ ounce.

We wanted to get today’s update out a little early because we know many of you are headed out for the holidays.  We will be back Friday morning with our next update and we hope all of you have a Great Thanksgiving!  Stay long and strong…