The slip in homebuilder confidence may not signal a wrong turn -- yet

In a modest setback on the housing front, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index fell to 18 in October from 19 in September, the group announced Monday. That's the index's first decline since June.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the reading to rise to 20. In October 2008, the index was at 14, and it hit a cycle low of 8 in January. The NAHB Housing Market Index measures builder perceptions of current single-family sales, sales expectations for the next six months and the traffic of prospective buyers. Readings over 50 indicate that more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.