Though home sales wilt when interest rates rise, investors have stuck by the market's two largest mortgage stocks-Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Standard & Poor's bank index has plunged more than 10% since the Federal Reserve raised a key short-term rate March 25, but Fannie Mae has lost only 4% of its value, and Freddie Mac has dropped 8.5%. The government-sponsored enterprises invest in more than half of all new-home loans.

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