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U.S. Economy: Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Rise

Pending sales of existing houses unexpectedly climbed in July from a record low, indicating the real-estate market is steadying following the end of a government tax credit.

The index of purchase contracts rose 5.2 percent after a revised 2.8 percent drop the prior month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. Combined with data showing claims for unemployment benefits dropped and orders to factories increased, the reports allayed concern the economy was tipping back into a recession.