HOME CONTRACTS: The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose in June 2.4 percent, the second monthly gain, according to the National Association of Realtors.

INDEX LOW: The real estate trade group's index for pending home sales increased to 90.9. That's below a reading of 100, which economists consider a healthy level for the housing market.

CONTRACT PROBLEMS: Contract signings are typically a reliable indicator of where the market is headed. But the Realtors' group says a growing number of buyers have cancelled contracts ahead of closings after appraisals showed the homes were worth less than they had offered to pay.