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Stocks steady...Consumers more confident...Home prices rise

October 31, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes have been holding steady today following strong earnings reports from the makers of Kellogg’s cereals, Oreo cookies and others. Markets are absorbing a deluge of reports on corporate earnings and the global economy. The S&P 500 index is close to flat, while bond yields were stable and commodity prices dipped modestly.

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers are the most confident they’ve been in nearly 17 years. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index hit 125.9 in October, up from a revised 120.6 in September and the highest reading since December 2000. The index measures consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their outlook for the next six months. Both rose in October.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers’ wages and benefits grew faster in the third quarter. The Labor Department says total compensation was up 0.7 percent from July through September after growing 0.5 percent in the second quarter. Wages and salaries, which account for about 70 percent of compensation costs, rose 0.7 percent. Benefits, including pensions and health insurance, were up 0.8 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a healthy clip in August from a year ago, a trend that is thwarting many would-be buyers and potentially slowing sales. The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index increased 6.1 percent in August from a year earlier. That’s higher than the 5.9 percent annual gain in July. In 9 of the 20 cities tracked by the index, yearly price gains in August were faster than in July.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump, will be lobbying in the U.S. for a tax overhaul while President Donald Trump is traveling in Asia. A White House official says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and White House adviser Ivanka Trump will hold tax events around the country. The first daughter is going to Japan for a speech Friday, but has canceled plans to continue on to China and South Korea and will return to the U.S. over the weekend.

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