US home sales jumped in October and will rise slightly overall next year, beating forecasts, the Wall Street Journal reports. The National Association of Realtors' index for pending sales of existing homes spiked 0.6% in October over September, which was up 1.4% over August—but those increases are still part of a recovery from a year-long plunge, the third-biggest on record, Reuters reports.
"It's possible that after a big hit, housing sales will stabilize, but the short answer is that it's too soon to say," said one economist. But the Realtors' index forecasts a rise of 0.3% next year and includes the worst credit crunch fallout in its report. Traders predicted the news would make a quarter point rate cut at tomorrow's Fed meeting more likely than a half-point.