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Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Rose 5.1% in March

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in March, a sign the industry that triggered the recession may begin to stabilize.

The index of pending home resales climbed 5.1 percent after a revised 0.7 percent increase the prior month, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 1.5 percent rise.