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AP Financial News Summary at 1:12 p.m. EDT

July 3, 2006

Dow Closes Up 78, Nasdaq Finishes Up 18

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street kicked off the third quarter with a sharp advance Monday as mild manufacturing and construction data lifted hopes about interest rates and energized investors in light pre-holiday trade.

Construction Spending Down 0.4 Pct. in May

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WASHINGTON (AP) _Construction spending fell in May by the largest amount in nearly two years as the once booming housing sector suffered another big decline.

Manufacturing Sector Expands in June

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The nation’s manufacturing sector expanded in June, but at a slower pace than analysts expected. Raw materials prices eased a bit.

Oil Prices Climb Above $73 a Barrel

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VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Oil prices rose Monday on anticipation that large numbers of Americans will take to the road for Independence Day.

BP Oil, Gas Output Tumbles Yet Again

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LONDON (AP) _ Energy company BP PLC said Monday that oil and gas output fell for the fourth straight quarter and that its refinery explosion in Texas will cost it $500 million more than it had anticipated.

Nissan, GM to Discuss Possible Alliance

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TOKYO (AP) _ Nissan Motor Co. on Monday approved opening talks with General Motors Corp. over a possible alliance, the Japanese automaker said.

Honda to Double Car Production in India

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NEW DELHI (AP) _ Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. plans to gradually expand its operations in India, where it will double its car production by next year, set up a fully-owned subsidiary and invest about $650 million in India over the next decade.

Mexico Stock Markets Rally After Election

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MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexican financial markets opened sharply higher Monday as investors apparently decided that fiscally conservative Felipe Calderon will be Mexico’s next president.

Cullen/Frost to Buy Summit Bancshares

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DALLAS (AP) _ Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. said Monday it will buy another Texas bank, Summit Bancshares Inc., for $363.5 million in cash and stock.

Official: Failed WTO Talks Bad for Poor

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GENEVA (AP) _ Failure by top trading powers to resolve their differences in global commerce negotiations augurs badly for the world’s poor, a top U.N. official said Monday, urging countries to do their utmost to save the troubled Doha round of trade talks.

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