News Summary: US homebuilder confidence rises
BULLISH BUILDERS: A survey of 417 U.S. homebuilders shows they are feeling more confident in their prospects for sales than they have in six and a half years.
THE NUMBERS: The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index increased to 46 this month, up from 41 in October. That's the highest reading since May 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.
THE SCALE: Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market. The index last reached that level in April 2006. Still it has been trending higher since October 2011, when it stood at 17.