More strong data raises the stakes for the Fed's September interest-rate decision. Big businesses led August hiring gains, adding 70,000 workers, while small firms hired 63,000 new employees.
Existing-home sales dropped 3.2% in July to an annual rate of 5.39 million units, with the median price rising 5.3% from a year ago to $244,100.
Is this the time to get contrarian? Housing starts grew respectably in July, but the rate is slowing, says Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at real-estate listing site Trulia.com.