Housing starts jumped 15.0% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 (consensus 768,000) while building permits increased 11.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000 (consensus 815,000). That was the most new housing starts since July 2008 and it was accented by an 11.0% jump in single-family starts to 603,000. Single-family starts haven’t been above 600,000 since August 2008. Better than expected residential construction should help boost the rate of GDP growth.
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is a $1 stock that is near its all-time lows. Yesterday, there was a buyer of 10,000 Jan 1 calls. This was 14.4x normal volume. ALU won a contract from China Mobile yesterday and will report earnings on November 2. These options are trading at $0.20 on the ask.
On the bearish side, there was a buyer of 10,000 Oct 22 and 23 puts in Terex Corp (TEX). The stock opened at $23.28 this morning and these options expire on Friday.