Pending home sales give hopeful sign for U.S. housing market

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes rose to their highest level in 1-1/2 years in February, a sign the lackluster recovery in the U.S. housing market could be accelerating.

The National Association of Realtors on Monday said its pending home sales index rose 3.1 percent last month.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.4 percent gain, although the association also revised previous readings to show a smaller gain in January than initially estimated.


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White House unveils $478B highway bill

The Obama administration is sending a six year, $478 billion highway bill to Congress with lawmakers struggling to beat a May 31 deadline to renew federal infrastructure spending.

The measure is an update of the Grow America Act, a transportation bill the Obama administration previously sent to Congress. Lawmakers, though, largely ignored that proposal, instead opting for a temporary extension of highway spending that is set to expire in the spring.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx pitched the bill as a solution to a transportation funding problem that has bedeviled lawmakers for several years.


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