Hitting too close to home
If you think that the housing market is bottoming out, watch out for that hole. Developer Lennar (NYSE:LEN) is selling 11,000 properties, consisting of raw land and partially developed homesites, for $525 million. That property had been recently valued at $1.3 billion on Lennar's books.

"If the powers that be at Lennar (who are among the most capable in the industry) had even briefly thought that our nation's housing market was approaching that elusive 'bottom,' there's absolutely no way they'd have dumped properties in such volume at just $0.40 on the dollar," David Lee Smith astutely pointed out.

Shortly after Lennar's distressed asset sale, fellow bellwether Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) posted the first quarterly loss in its publicly traded history. Toll expects revenue to dip yet again in 2008, and it won't even begin to project what its bottom line will look like. 

Obviously, real estate developer stocks will bottom out at some point -- probably even well before the industry itself hits bottom. However, as cancellations continue to pile up, and lenders get even stingier with regard to borrowers, it's hard to get excited about sifting through the rubble.

Fool news in brief
And now, a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • For years, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) has been the biggest video game software maker on the planet. That title will be challenged, now that Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) is joining forces with World of Warcraft parent Vivendi Games. The combined company will trump EA in terms of revenues and profitability, though not necessarily in market capitalization. EA may be the company behind the Need for Speed franchise, but Activision seems to be the one revving things up.
  • Speaking of "Warcrack," Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) is putting out a $4,500 laptop for gamers. Dell's XPS M1730 World of Warcraft Edition will feature plenty of ritzy game-specific touches. I get it. WoW has 9.3 million paying subscribers who eat, sleep, and drink the fantasy multiplayer game. I just don't know whether Dell should be theming products to hot trends. What's next? Hannah Montana: The Desktop?
  • Hoping for something sweeter than pure cane sugar, Jones Soda (NASDAQ:JSDA) founder and CEO Peter Van Stolk is stepping down at the edgy beverage company. The move opens the door for a more seasoned industry veteran to take the helm as the company expands into canned distribution and possibly fountain sales. Let's hope that the company's turkey and gravy soda isn't the pop of choice to toast the eventual chieftain.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Electronic Arts, Dell, and Activision are Stock Advisor newsletter recommendations. Dell is also an Inside Value stock pick. Jones Soda is a Rule Breakers selection. If this weekend finds you hungry for stock picks, snag a 30-day trial subscription offer to any of these newsletter services.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does own shares in Jones Soda. The Fool has a disclosure policy.