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Ahead Of The Bell: US Unemployment Benefits

Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight, forecasts that construction companies will add 140,000 jobs this year, up from a meager 18,000 in 2012.

Growing demand has also pushed up home prices, which rose 7.4 percent in November compared with the same month a year earlier. Rising home values makes homeowners feel wealthier and encourages more spending, which boosts growth and can lead to more hiring.

And factory production rose in December for a second straight month, buoyed by more output of autos, electronics and business investment.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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