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Stocks higher...Fed leaves interest rate unchanged...Construction spending drops

May 1, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve left a key policy rate unchanged. Stocks rallied earlier in the day as large U.S. companies continued to surprise investors with solid profits.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is leaving its key interest rate unchanged and signaling that no rate hikes are likely in coming months amid signs of renewed economic health but unusually low inflation. The Fed left its benchmark rate — which influences many consumer and business loans — in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on home construction fell in March to the lowest level in more than two years, and overall U.S. construction spending dropped for the first time in four months. The Commerce Department says spending was down 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $500.9 billion, the lowest since December 2016.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Trump administration and several Republican-led states face a midnight deadline for filing papers with a federal appeals panel that’s reviewing a lower court ruling that former President Barack Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. The administration switched its stance in the case, recently telling the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that it believes the law should be struck down completely. Oral arguments are expected in July.

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing is assigning its top lawyer to a new position in which he will handle legal issues stemming from two deadly crashes involving Boeing’s 737 Max airliner. The company faces a growing stack of lawsuits. Former federal prosecutor and judge J. Michael Luttig was named counselor and senior adviser to CEO Dennis Muilenburg (MUHL’-ihn-burg) and the Boeing board today.