Home sales fell between October and November, per a gauge measuring housing-market activity. The drop-off was attributed to a rush of home buyers in October who were hoping to beat the expiration date on a tax credit, which Congress eventually extended. "It is uncertain how much demand was pulled forward by the original expiration date of the [first-time home buyers'] tax incentive, but today's report indicates that it was considerable," MFR Inc. chief U.S. economist Joshua Shapiro wrote to clients.

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