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Stocks edge higher...Durable goods orders rise...Pending home sales decline

September 27, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies and banks are leading stocks slightly higher in early trading on Wall Street. Facebook added 1.5 percent as the tech sector continued to rebound. Apple and Microsoft each rose about 1 percent. Bank stocks are rising along with bond yields. Investors expect interest rates to continue to rise, helping banks make more money on loans.

WASHINGTON (AP) —The Labor Department says orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose a modest 1.7 percent in August, after a 6.8 percent plunge in July. Both months were heavily influenced by swings in orders for commercial aircraft, which surged 44.8 percent in August after plunging 71.1 percent in July. A closely watched category that serves as a proxy for business investment posted a 0.9 percent gain in August. WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people signing contracts to buy homes has fallen for the fifth time in the past six months. The 2.6 percent decline in August continues to reflect the worsening shortage nationwide of homes being listed for sale. The National Association of Realtors says its pending home sales index fell to 106.3 last month from 109.1 in July. It’s the index’s lowest point since a 106.1 reading in January of 2016. The Realtors say Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a particularly negative impact in the South.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are rolling out a tax overhaul plan today. In a document obtained by The Associated Press, they outline a blueprint for almost doubling the standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly to $24,000, and $12,000 for individuals. The plan calls for cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. It also calls for reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three with a surcharge on the wealthiest Americans. The plan leaves intact the deduction for mortgage interest and charitable deductions.

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart has its eye on the premium diaper market, as more people are getting automatic shipments from online sellers and the company that owns Babies R Us has filed for bankruptcy. The diapers are part of Walmart’s relaunch of its Parent’s Choice brand with new products like bedding, baby lotion and sippy cups. The Parent’s Choice diapers are at some Walmart stores now and will be online next month. Diapers are key drivers for customer traffic because parents buy them frequently.

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