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Stocks open higher...Consumer confidence gains...Home prices show slower rise

September 25, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slightly higher as energy companies rise with oil prices. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.7 percent to its highest in about three months. Chevron gained 1 percent. Facebook fell 2.5 percent after the founders of Instagram said they are leaving the company. Interest rates neared their highest levels of the year as the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates tomorrow.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence shot up to an 18-year high in September. The Conference Board, a business research organization, says its consumer confidence index climbed to 138.4 in September from 134.7 in August. This month’s reading was the highest since September 2000.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in July at the slowest pace in 10 months as home sales have stumbled amid higher mortgage rates. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 5.9 percent in July compared with a year earlier, down from a 6.4 percent annual gain in July. Home prices are rising at twice the rate of wages, which has likely contributed to a cooling in the market this year.

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Kors is buying the Italian fashion house Gianni Versace in a deal worth more than $2 billion, continuing its hard charge into the world of high-end fashion. The deal announced today follows the New York handbag maker’s $1.35 billion acquisition last year of the shoemaker Jimmy Choo.

ATLANTA (AP) — Arby’s owner Inspire Brands is buying the Sonic drive-in hamburger chain. Inspire is paying $43.50 per share cash, or $2.3 billion, for Sonic, which has 3,600 restaurants in the U.S. Inspire expects the deal to close by the end of this year. Sonic will operate as a separate business unit within Inspire and remain based in Oklahoma City. The first Sonic opened in Oklahoma in 1953.

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