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US stock indexes tiptoe backward ... US home sales fell in June ... WebMD being sold

July 24, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes tiptoed backward morning trading today, ahead of a busy week of corporate earnings reports and a meeting of the Federal Reserve. Global stock markets were mixed, while the price of oil rose. At 10:23 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow was down 51 points at 21,529. The S&P 500 was down 3 points at 2,469. And the Nasdaq was up 4 points at 6,391.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homebuyers faced surging prices and a shrinking number of properties for sale in June — causing the pace of purchases of existing homes to fall. The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes slipped 1.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million. Sales levels have been nearly flat for the past year, a sign that the housing market may be stalling amid the pressures of fewer listings and higher prices.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Shares of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen fell today after a newsmagazine report claimed they had colluded for years over diesel technology. Spiegel reported that employees from Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche had met often since the 1990s and had agreed to limit the size of the tanks holding a urea solution used to reduce diesel emissions, cutting costs and freeing space in the vehicles. BMW has denied that its urea tanks were too small to provide adequate exhaust treatment.

NEW YORK (AP) — Health information website WebMD is being purchased by KKR, in a deal valued at about $2.8 billion. KKR’s Internet Brands, an online media and software services provider and subsidiary of KKR, will pay $66.50 per WebMD share. WebMD Health Corp. announced in February that it was looking at its strategic options, including a possible sale.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s energy minister says that major oil producers need to show greater discipline in sticking to output cuts aimed at raising the price of crude. OPEC and several non-OPEC states like Russia decided last year to rein in output, but prices have fallen below $50 a barrel in recent weeks amid concerns about higher production in the U.S., which was not part of the deal, and some countries’ lack of discipline in enforcing the cuts.

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