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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

June 24, 2014, 1:47 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Despite some encouraging news on the economy, stocks have been mixed in afternoon trading. Homebuilder stocks rose sharply after the government reported that sales of new homes rose in May to the highest level in six years.
  • U.S. consumers are more confident about the economy than they have been in more than six years. The Conference Board says its confidence index rose to 85.2 this month from a revised 82.2 in May. The June figure is the highest since January 2008, a month after the Great Recession officially began. More Americans are optimistic about business conditions and the outlook for jobs, though they're less confident that their incomes will grow.
  • Investigators say pilot mismanagement and confusion led to last year's crash of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco. The federal investigators also concluded that the complexity of the Boeing 777's autothrottle and pilot training by the South Korea-based airline contributed to the crash. Three people were killed and more than 200 of the 307 people on board were injured.
  • Business groups are pushing hard for Congress to renew the agency that makes loans to foreigners so they can buy American-made products. But conservative groups oppose renewing the Export-Import Bank, saying the private sector can fill its place. House Speaker John Boehner was a supporter of the bank, but he's backing off this time, saying he needs to work with GOP lawmakers to make sure they're comfortable with what he called a "rather controversial subject."
  • An Arizona company says it has successfully completed the first scale test flight of a high-altitude balloon and capsule being developed to take tourists to the edge of space. World View Enterprises of Tucson said today that it launched the flight last week from Roswell, New Mexico. CEO Jane Poynter says the company is still planning to begin its $75,000 per-person flights in 2016.

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