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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

July 1, 2014, 12:05 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

The stock market is up in early trading after a report showed that manufacturing in the US and China expanded in June, boosting the outlook for global growth. The Standard & Poor's 500 is trading above its all-time closing high of 1,962.87 set June 20.

  • U.S. manufacturing grew in June for the 13th straight month, though the pace of the expansion slowed from May.  The Institute for Supply Management says orders rose at a faster pace last month compared with May. But growth in production slowed. Factories added jobs for the 12th straight month at the same pace as in May.
  • U.S. home prices rose in May compared with a year earlier, but the gains have slowed. Data provider CoreLogic said today that prices increased 8.8 percent in May compared with 12 months earlier. The pace of gains has slowed as more homes have come onto the market, according to CoreLogic. Prices increased the most in Western states, including Hawaii, California and Nevada.
  • The Commerce Department says U.S. construction spending barely increased in May as gains in spending on nonresidential projects such as office buildings and public construction were largely offset by a big drop in home building. The construction industry has struggled with an unusually severe winter which curtailed building activity in many regions.
  • Auto sales for Chrysler and GM are up, despite a growing list of recalls. Chrysler's U.S. auto sales jumped 9 percent in June on strong sales of the new Jeep Cherokee SUV and other models. General Motors says its U.S. sales rose 1 percent in June, led by the Buick Encore small SUV and the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe big SUV. Yesterday GM added 8.2 million vehicles in North America to its ballooning list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches. Chrysler recalled almost 700,000 vehicles in North America for the same problem.
  • The contract that keeps thousands of dockworkers on the job at West Coast ports from San Diego to Seattle is expiring, but don't expect a disruption in the hundreds of billions of dollars of trade that crosses the waterfront - at least not yet. Both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the association that represents shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 ports have promised to keep negotiating past the current six-year contract's end.

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