NEWS SUMMARY: US sales of new homes rose in April

SALES RISE: Sales of new homes rose 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000. It's the second-highest level in two years, although it is half the rate consistent with healthy markets.

BROAD GAINS. Sales rose 28 percent in the Midwest and the West, and 7.7 percent in the Northeast. Sales fell 10.6 percent in the South.

OUTLOOK: The increase adds to evidence that the housing market may be starting to recover. Home re-sales rose to near a two-year high in April. And Toll Brothers, a builder of luxury homes, reported that it had returned to profitability.