The pending home sales index slipped by 0.5 christian louboutin percent to 96.5 in February from 97.0 the previous month, but it was up 9.2 percent from the year-earlier period.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which lead existing home sales by a month or two, to advance 1 percent, after a previously reported 2.0 percent rise.
“The spring homebuying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said we’re seeing the continuation of an uneven but higher sales pattern. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years.”
Pending sales were strongest in the Midwest, where they jumped 6.5 percent — a 19 percent increase from February 2011.
The weakest region for sales was in the South, where they fell 3 percent. In the West, pending sales dropped 2.6 percent in February to 99.3, while in the Northeast they were down 0.6 percent.
After botching its debut as a public company last week, BATS Global Markets issued a heartfelt apology Sunday night in a letter to customers.
"Let me get right to the point," said Joe Ratterman, chief executive of BATS, in the letter. "BATS experienced a serious technical failure Friday morning and I want to apologize for not measuring up to the level of excellence that you have come to expect from us."
The technical failure came on the day BATS had hoped to sell its own stock to the public for the first time. BATS, which operates stock exchanges, intended to list the stock Christian Louboutin High Boots on its own trading platform.
But trading in the newly issued BATS stock was halted when the price suddenly plunged almost immediately after it hit the market, triggering a so-called circuit breaker.
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"On Friday we were under the brightest spotlight imaginable ... opening our own stock on our own exchange for the first time ever," said Ratterman. "It doesn't get much more public than that."
Despite months of preparation and "rigorous" testing, BATS said it experienced a "system problem" that prevented the stock from trading properly.
Ratterman stressed that all companies have technical glitches and that BATS exchanges have run smoothly 99.9% of the time over the last three years.
"It shouldn't have failed, but it did, and the timing couldn't have been worse," said Ratterman.
Ratterman suggested the offering could have been salvaged if the problem had been resolved quickly. But it took over two hours to reopen the market and by then the damage had been done.
"We determined that this was a material Christian Louboutin Jean Paul 120 Wedges Sandals Jade event that had eroded investor confidence and made the timely resumption of fair and orderly trading unlikely," he wrote. "As a result, we pulled the IPO and unwound all auction executions."
BATS is the third-largest exchange operator in the United States after NYSE Euronext (NYX, Fortune 500) and the NASDAQ OMX Group (NDAQ), according to the company's investment prospectus.