By Nick Timiraos

Home prices fell to new lows in January, but the rate of decline appears to be easing, offering the latest sign that an elusive bottom in prices could be in sight. Prices dropped by 0.8% for the three-month period ending in January, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index that tracks 20 metro areas.

While that dropped the index back to levels not seen since the end of 2002, the monthly decline improved from a drop of 1.1% in December and 1.3% in November. Separately, U.S. consumers in March remain confident about the economy and labor markets generally, but a ...

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