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Business Highlights

Consumer spending and personal incomes both weak

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Consumers did not boost their spending in June and their incomes failed to increase, further evidence that the economic recovery slowed in the spring. And Americans saved at the highest rate in nearly a year.

Personal spending was unchanged in June, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It was the third straight month of lackluster consumer demand. Incomes were also flat, the weakest showing in nine months.

The lack of growth for spending and incomes shows the economy ended the second quarter on a weak note. Many analysts believe growth will slow further in the second half of the year as high unemployment, shaky consumer confidence and renewed troubles in housing weigh on the year-old economic recovery.


Factory orders drop for second straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Factory orders fell in June for the second straight month due to lower demand for steel, construction machinery and aircraft.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders dropped by 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted $406.4 billion. Analysts expected a much smaller drop.

May's decline was revised to a steeper decrease of 1.8 percent. It was initially reported as a 1.4 percent drop.

The two months of declines follow nine straight month of increases, as manufacturers ramped up production last fall and helped the U.S. economy grow after four quarters of contraction.


Stocks fall after weak earnings, economic reports

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The stock market put its big rally on hold Tuesday after disappointing earnings and economic reports reminded investors of the obstacles still facing the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 38 points after rising 208 Monday on brighter economic news. All the major indexes fell moderately.

Investors were unhappy with just about every major earnings or economic report Tuesday. The stream of bad news was a reminder that the recovery is going to be bumpy and slow.

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