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Builders, data point to slowdown in home sales

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Home-builder stocks, seen as a leading indicator for housing, have fallen 24% since peaking in late April. On Wednesday, the Commerce Department said sales of new homes fell by a third in May to a record low. Yet builders as a group managed to rise on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve reiterated its pledge to keep interest rates near zero to stimulate the economy. One positive in the Commerce Department report was a reduction in inventory.

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