Stocks worked higher in Wednesday trading. The Dow was up 56 points to 12,626. The S&P rose 1 point, while the Nasdaq gained 8.
- Weekly jobless claims are due from the government this morning. Also, retail chains are releasing their monthly sales numbers.
- The U.S. service sector, which employs nearly 90 percent of American workers, expanded for a 19th consecutive month in June. But growth slowed from May, a sign that the economy remains sluggish.
- Congressional leaders are heading to the White House today for new budget talks. Repositioning by both Democrats and Republicans has opened new compromise possibilities. The negotiations are gaining urgency because of an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the government's debt ceiling.
- Now Facebook friends can see as they chat. The popular social media site says its 750 million users can now make video calls. The feature will be powered by the Internet phone service Skype. Facebook also redesigned its chat feature, so that the people a user messages the most often show up first.
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