Home-builder optimism improved this week with the National Association of Home Builders' index of member sentiment rising two points to 17, its highest since September 2008.

The report tracks the perceptions of 484 residential builders nationwide. Index readings lower than 50 indicate a predominance of negative sentiment. Still, this increase could be a sign that new-home contractors are seeing improvement in the market.

Source: The Associated Press, Alex Veiga (07/16/2009)