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US Jobless Claims, Housing Data Point to Firming Economy

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week and confidence among homebuilders held at a more than 9-1/2-year high in July, indicating underlying momentum in the economy. The solid labor market and firming housing sector, underscored by Thursday's reports, suggest the economy likely is strong enough to support an interest rate hike this year. Manufacturing, however, continues to struggle. "Overall, the economy...

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