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US Stocks higher in abbreviated session ... Construction spending flat ... Survey: US factory activity rises to near a 3-year high

July 3, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are higher this morning on Wall Street and banks are leading the way. Wells Fargo rose 1.2 percent this morning and Morgan Stanley picked up 1.3 percent on the first day of the third quarter. At 10:35 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow shot up 161 points, to 21,509. The S&P 500 was up 13 points to 2,436. And the Nasdaq increased 8 points, to 6,148. Trading will close at 1 p.m. for the U.S. Independence Day holiday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending was flat in May with home construction falling again, as buyers face climbing prices and a shortage of available properties on the market. The Commerce Department reports no increase in construction spending in May, which follows a new home construction report two weeks ago showing that housing starts fell for the third straight month. Overall spending was reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.23 triillion, the same as last month’s revised figure.

DETROIT (AP) — Honda says its June U.S. sales rose just over 1 percent, bucking expectations that industry sales will drop for the month. Industry analysts expect U.S. auto sales to fall from 2 percent to 4 percent in June, the sixth straight month of sales declines. Analysts also expect sales to fall for the first half of the year — the first time that’s happened since 2009. Nearly all automakers report June sales today.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories expanded at a robust pace in June, a likely sign of strength for the U.S. economy as new orders, production and employment each improved. The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index rose to 57.8 last month from 54.9 in May. Anything above 50 signals that factory activity is increasing. The easure now stands at its highest level since August 2014, pointing to solid economic growth.

LONDON (AP) — Barclays and four of its former executives, including ex-CEO John Varley, are appearing in court in Britain today on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud connected with efforts to raise funds and avoid a bailout during the 2008 financial crisis. The charges are the first in Britain against a bank and former executives for activities during the crisis. They follow a Serious Fraud Office investigation into two rounds of fundraising from Qatar in June and October of 2008.

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