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Monday Morning Business Brief

June 30, 2014, 6:32 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief
  • Investors are hoping the stock market will pick up during this shortened trading week. Earnings season begins next month. Major stock indexes drifted slightly higher going into the weekend but overall trading was listless on Friday. The S&P 500 edged up four points to close at 1,960. The Dow rose six points to 16,851. The Nasdaq gained 19 points to 4,397. Futures point to a tepid opening today.
  • International stock markets mostly inched higher today as investors prepared for a busy week of economic news that will give new clues about the strength of the global recovery. Most Asian markets closed higher wile stocks in Europe were steady in early trading. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $105.50 per barrel. The dollar slipped against the yen and the euro.
  • There's not much in the way of economic news today. But the National Association of Realtors will issue its pending home sales index for May this morning. Tomorrow, the Institute for Supply Management will release its June manufacturing index and the Commerce Department will report on construction spending for May.
  • The European Union's statistics office says the inflation rate for the 18-nation eurozone in June remained flat at a low 0.5 percent. Eurostat says its initial June estimate shows the core inflation rate, which excludes volatile food and fuel costs, has edged up to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent in May. The European Central Bank seeks an inflation rate of about 2 percent and has embarked on a raft of aggressive measures to spur inflation and boost Europe's economy.
  • Mixed economic data for May suggests Japan's economy is continuing to slow after a sales tax increase at the beginning of the second quarter. Government figures released show that housing starts and household spending fell in May while industrial output grew less than expected. Japan's economy was the one of the best performing in the industrial world in the first three months of the year

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