CONFIDENCE PLUNGES: Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is down sharply this month from January as the severe weather battering much of the nation keeps many would-be buyers at home.
THE NUMBERS: The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slid to 46. That's down from 56 in January and is the lowest level since May. Readings below 50 indicate that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.
SALES OUTLOOK: Builders' view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers have all declined since January.