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Aug 15, 2013

August U.S. homebuilder confidence close to eight-year high

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. homebuilder confidence neared an eight-year high in August as limited supply of new and existing homes and strong buyer demand outweighed higher mortgage rates, data from the National Association of Home Builders on Thursday showed.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose to 59 this month, its fourth consecutive monthly gain and best showing since November 2005. July’s reading, initially reported at 57, was revised to 56.

Aug 14, 2013

U.S. mortgage applications slip despite rate decline-MBA

NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Applications for U.S. home
loans fell last week to their lowest level in more than a month
despite a slight decline in interest rates, data from an
industry group showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally
adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes
both refinancing and home purchase demand, slipped 4.7 percent
in the week ended Aug 9. That was the largest decline since the
week ending June 28.

Aug 5, 2013

British business booms in July, U.S. services recover

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – British businesses boomed and activity at euro zone companies expanded, albeit modestly, in July for the first time in 18 months, while growth in the U.S. services sector rebounded from a three-year low.

The data suggested economic recovery in the UK and U.S. economies was gathering steam, raising questions about the proper amount of monetary stimulus needed in those countries.

Aug 2, 2013

Fed buys itself some time in push to wind down stimulus

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve secured itself some wiggle room this week with the tactical deployment of three words in its policy statement: “modest,” “mortgage” and “inflation.”

In a statement many had expected to set the stage for a reduction in the central bank’s massive stimulus starting as early as September, Fed officials’ use of those three words instead introduced some doubt about their confidence in the strength of the economic recovery.

Aug 1, 2013

Europe’s factories grow, U.S. manufacturing at 2-yr high

NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturing grew
in July at its fastest pace in two years while European
factories snapped a two-year run of declining output, suggesting
a prolonged euro zone recession may be near its end.

Output at British factories also surged last month,
according to business surveys released on Thursday, while an
index of China’s massive manufacturing sector suggested the
slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy may be stabilizing.

Jul 28, 2013

Analysis: Investors wince but keep calm as U.S. budget battle looms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Another year, another battle over the U.S. budget. It’s hardly what investors need, but it looks like they’re going to get it just the same.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Last December’s showdown over tax policy, while unpleasant, turned out to be just a minor speed bump for the U.S. stock market, which raced to record highs after Congress struck a last-minute deal on New Year’s Day.

Jul 28, 2013

Investors wince but keep calm as U.S. budget battle looms

NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) – Another year, another battle
over the U.S. budget. It’s hardly what investors need, but it
looks like they’re going to get it just the same.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Last December’s
showdown over tax policy, while unpleasant, turned out to be
just a minor speed bump for the U.S. stock market, which raced
to record highs after Congress struck a last-minute deal on New
Year’s Day.

Jul 24, 2013

Euro zone, U.S. bounce back but China stalls

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private industry in the euro zone expanded for the first time in more than a year in July, which was also a good month for U.S. factories, but the massive manufacturing engine that powers China continued to lose steam, surveys showed on Wednesday.

The jump in Markit’s “flash” Eurozone Composite PMI to 50.4, which marked the first expansion since January, 2012, should hearten European Central Bank policymakers who have promised to do whatever it takes to pull the 17-country euro zone out of the longest recession in the bloc’s history.

Jul 16, 2013

German TV maker Loewe seeks protection from creditors

MUNICH/FRANKFURT, July 16 (Reuters) – German high-end TV
maker Loewe AG has filed for protection from
creditors’ demands, giving it three months to turn around a
business hit by falling prices and fierce competition from Asia.

Loewe has failed to keep up with mass-market rivals such as
Samsung and LG Electronics, and to cope
with a slide in the average price of TV sets. Its losses almost
tripled to 29 million euros ($37.8 million) in 2012,
year-on-year.

Jul 1, 2013

Factories rebound in June, but hiring down

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Manufacturing activity grew last month, rebounding from an unexpected contraction in May, but hiring in the sector was the weakest in nearly four years, underscoring the challenges still facing the American economy.

Construction spending, meanwhile, neared a four-year high in May, though difficulties in the commercial real estate and factory sector kept recovery in the sector sluggish.