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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Confidence among U.S. builders rose to the highest level in five years, a hopeful sign that modest improvement in the housing market will pick up.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to 29 in May. That's the highest reading since May 2007 and up from a downwardly revised reading of 24 in April.

The index rose for six straight months before falling in April.

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.
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