For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 23, 2010 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Plum Creek Timber (PCL), USG (USG), Fortune Brands (FO), D.R. Horton (DHI) and Sherwin Williams (SHW).

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Existing Homes Sales Rise in March

While the somewhat higher than expected level of existing home sales is good news, as is the growth from both last month and last year, one should not get too excited about it. First, it is the result of some artificial stimulus in the form of the tax credit, although that effect will be bigger in the next two months than it was in March. The second and much more important reason is that existing home sales just are not that important to the economy.

What really matters is new home sales, which are due out tomorrow. Each new home built generates an enormous amount of economic activity, ranging from employing the people building the house, to more sales for lumber companies like Plum Creek Timber (PCL) to wallboard firms like USG (USG) to plumbing and cabinet makers like Fortune Brands (FO), and, of course, the homebuilders themselves like D.R. Horton (DHI).

In contrast, existing home sales tend to help used home dealers (aka realtors) and perhaps sales of paint at Sherwin Williams (SHW) as people redecorate. Thus prices of used homes, and the level of inventory which points to the direction that prices are likely to go in the future, are much more important than the level of existing home sales activity.

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