Stocks modestly higher...Home prices slow...Consumer confidence up this month
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks have been modestly higher in morning trading, picking up where they left off before the long holiday weekend. Technology stocks led the early gains. Microsoft rose 1.3% and Cisco rose 1.8%. A mix of consumer-focused and communications companies also pushed the market higher.
NEW YORK (AP) _ Total System Services rose 4.6% after agreeing to be acquired by rival payment processing company Global Payments in an all-stock deal valued at $21.5 billion. It’s the third major acquisition in the payment processing sector this year. The combined companies will provide payment and software technology to about 3.5 million small-to-mid-sized business and more than 1,300 financial institutions.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. home prices rose at the slowest pace in more than six years in March, a sign weaker sales are keeping a lid on price increases. The home price index rose 2.7% from a year earlier, down from an annual gain of 3% in February.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ American consumers felt more confident this month, shrugging off a rocky stock market and heightened trade tensions between the United States and China. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 134.1 in May up from 129.2 in April. It’s the highest reading since November. Consumer’s optimism reflects a healthy job market and an unemployment rate near a 50-year low.
UNDATED (AP) _ Mackenzie Bezos has pledged half her fortune to charity, more than a month after finalizing her divorce from Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. Mackenzie signed The Giving Pledge. The pledge is a way for the wealthiest people in the U.S. to signal that they will give away at least half of their wealth, either while alive or in their wills. It was started in 2010 and its most famous pledgers are Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.