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Stocks gain...Consumers spend more...Home prices post rapid rise

July 31, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising after a three-day losing streak. Industrial companies are making some of the largest gains, and companies including Ralph Lauren and Charter Communications are climbing following strong second-quarter reports.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer spending rose by a solid 0.4 percent in June, while a key gauge of inflation increased at an annual pace of 2.2 percent for a second straight month, the strongest back-to-back gains in six years. The Commerce Department says the gain in spending followed an even stronger 0.5 percent rise in May, which was revised from a 0.2 percent initial estimate. Incomes rose a solid 0.4 percent in June, matching the May increase.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers saw their wages and benefits grow more slowly in the second quarter, a sign that a tight labor market has yet to accelerate income gains. The Labor Department says overall compensation rose 0.6 percent in the April-June period, compared with a 0.8 percent rise in the first quarter. Wages and salaries, which account for 70 percent of compensation, rose 0.5 percent, compared to a 0.9 percent gain in the first quarter. Benefits costs rose 0.9 percent, compared to 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S home prices rose rapidly in May, a trend that is thwarting some would-be buyers and pulling down home sales. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 6.5 percent in May from a year earlier. That’s down slightly from April, but is still more than double the increase workers are seeing in their paychecks.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is consulting with the National Rifle Association over whether it makes sense for a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun. The president expressed doubt, saying “doesn’t seem to make much sense!” He did not offer further details. Trump tweeted after eight states filed suit against the administration, contending the hard-to-trace plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety.

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