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News Summary: US home sales dip 1.7 percent

SALES DIP: U.S. home sales dropped 1.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million, the National Association of Realtors said. That's down from a rate of 4.83 million in August, which was the highest in more than two years.

UPWARD TREND: Sales are up 11 percent from a year earlier, a sign of the housing market's steady recovery. Still, they remain below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market.

FUTURE GAINS LIKELY: Economists expect sales will likely rebound in October. Mortgage applications picked up in September after falling in the previous month.