NEW YORK—The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6% in September, following a downward revision of 0.4% decline for August.

Six of the ten indicators made positive contributions in September, led by building permits. The other gainers were interest rate spread, stock prices, credit, consumer goods orders and nondefense capital goods. The biggest negative contribution came from new orders for manufacturers.

"While the increase in September was welcome news, one cannot ignore the fact that the six-month growth rate has slowed substantially—even in light of the positive contribution from recent improvements in housing and finance," noted Brian Turner, director and chief strategist with Catalyst Corporate, in his analysis.

Turner pointed to data from the National Association of Realtors reported that show existing home sales fell by 1.7% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75-million units. The median price for a home resale increased 11.3% to $183,900 but the nation's inventory of homes on the market fell 3.3 percent during the month to 2.32-million.

At the current sales pace, inventories would be exhausted in 5.9-months, the lowest rate since March 2006, said Turner.

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