Homebuyers Sign on the Line

Pending home sales were up in December. The metric -- which measures the number of signed contracts to buy a home -- is considered a key leading indicator of where the housing market is going.

The seasonally adjusted index of pending home sales was 96.6 in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's up about 1 percent from November, and the fifth highest monthly tally in two years.