Evidence of steady but modest growth is putting traders in a buying mood on Wall Street, figuring the economy is not yet strong enough that the Federal Reserve will starting easing off it stimulus program soon. The Dow gained 65 points yesterday, closing at 15,083. The S&P 500 added nearly 9 points, while the Nasdaq rose 31 in light trading. Wall Street looks to gain ground at this morning's opening, based on futures trading results.
- Asian stock markets were mostly higher today as speculation that lukewarm U.S. economic indicators would keep the Federal Reserve from ending its stimulus program early offset pessimism about China's economy. Major European markets were slightly lower in early trading. Benchmark crude oil rose above $98 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.
- Reports on May factory orders and June auto sales are expected today. Last month, the Commerce Department reported a modest 1 percent rise in factory orders. Automakers had a particularly strong month for U.S. sales.
- As of now, the interest rate on certain student loans has doubled. And the subsidized Stafford loans could stay at 6.8 percent unless Congress keeps its promise to restore lower rates when it returns from the Fourth of July holiday. Supporters want to roll back the rate before college students start signing loan documents this fall.
- Doctors Without Borders says patents are keeping newer, more effective AIDS drugs out of reach in developing countries because they cost up to 15 times more. The medical aid group is urging the U.S. and 11 other countries not to sign a Trans-Pacific Partnership they are negotiating. The group says the pact will risk access to medicines.