HOME SALES: Sales of previously occupied homes declined 1.5 percent in May from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million.

LONGER VIEW: Sales have risen 9.6 percent from a year ago, evidence that home sales are slowly improving. Still, the pace has fallen since nearly touching a two-year high in April and remains well below the 6 million that economists consider healthy.

OUTLOOK: The monthly decline follows a report that employers added the fewest jobs in May in a year. Weaker hiring has slowed the broader economy and could lead some to reconsider buying a home.