(Updated for mid-day change in shares prices).WASHINGTON, D.C. ( TheStreet) -- Existing home sales showed a strong gain in October, the seventh consecutive month of an upward trend, surging 10.1% for the month to 6.10 million units. The rate was 23.5% above the October 2008 level and the highest since February 2007, when 6.55 million units were sold. The level topped market estimates of 5.7 million units, which was itself an optimistic outlook for a beaten-down sector. The looming expiration of the first-time buyer tax credit, since extended, could have played a large part in driving up home sales across the country. Still, it was a bright piece of news for a Monday morning that followed a really tough previous week for the U.S. home market.
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