Home prices in 20 U.S. cities unexpectedly rose in January, indicating the housing market is stabilizing as the economy expands.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller National Home Price index climbed 0.3% from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis, matching the gain in December, according to data released Tuesday. The gauge was down 0.7% from January 2009, the smallest year-over-year decrease in three years.

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