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US Home Prices Rise for First Time in 3 Years

A new report Tuesday shows home prices in May posted the first monthly increase in three years, a welcome sign during the worst housing slump since the 1930s.

The Standard & Poor's - Case Shiller index of prices in 20 major cities rose one-half of one percent in May. Though the index shows prices were still down 17.1 percent compared to the same time last year.

A separate survey from a private research group, the Conference Board, says U.S. consumers are feeling less confident due to worries about the weakening job market.

The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 26-year high of 9.5 percent and officials warn it is likely to go higher. These job losses cut into U.S. incomes, making Americans less likely to spend money.

Economists closely watch confidence as an indication of future consumer spending, which accounts for more than 70 percent of all U.S. economic activity.

The consumer confidence index, which measured 49.3 in June, fell to a reading of 46.6 in July.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP