October pending home sales rise, but construction spending goes flat

Just call it a mixed start to December, from a macroeconomic standpoint. First, the upside: Pending homes sales rose 3.7% in October -- the index's ninth straight monthly increase, the National Association of Realtors announced on Tuesday. However, construction spending was flat in the month, according to a report by the U.S. Commerce Department, also released on Tuesday, as an increase in residential housing spending was offset by a decline in public works.

A Bloomberg News economists survey had expected construction spending to fall 0.4% in October. This measure also fell a revised 1.6% in September, which was worse than the previously announced 0.8% decline. Construction spending has declined for about a half-year.