Contract signings for US homes up in November

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Home contracts rise: The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in November rose to the highest level in a year and a half. The best reading on pending homes sales since a federal home-buying tax credit expired appeared to encourage traders on Wall Street. Still, the National Association of Realtors cautioned that a growing number of buyers are canceling their contracts at the last minute, making the gauge less reliable. The Realtors group said Thursday that its index of sales agreements jumped 7.3 percent last month to a reading of 100.1.

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