Earnings growth and aggressive stock buy-back schemes enabled some real estate companies to charge forward on Wall Street in October, despite negative news reports about the housing markets. In a near replay of September, seven of the 10 housing and mortgage-related stocks that make up the hypothetical Inman Index again out-classed the broader market indices. Six of those in October's plus column -- Countrywide, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Realogy, IndyMac and ZipRealty -- were repeats from September while IAC/InteractiveCorp jumped onto the list and Washington Mutual fell off it. HouseValues was unchanged, and Move, Inc. posted the Index's only sequential loss. Realogy turned in the strongest performance with a 13.5 percent gain. The company responded early to negative media reports and was actively engaged with Wall Street. A tender offer that ended in September resulted in the repurchase of 37 million shares, or nearly 15 percent of the company's outstanding stock. The shares were bo...
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