OUTLOOK IMPROVES: Confidence among U.S. builders rose to the highest level in five years in May, a positive sign that slow improvement in the housing market may accelerate.
STEADY GAINS: The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to 29 in May. That's up from 24 in April. The index rose for five straight months before being flat in March and falling last month.
MORE NEEDED: Still, any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn't reached hit that level since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.