WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly two years, a troubling sign that the economy is faltering. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49.7. That's down from 53.5 in May and the lowest reading since July 2009, one more after the recession officially ended.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge in homebuilding pushed U.S. construction spending up by the largest amount in five months, the latest indication that the housing sector is slowly recovering. Construction spending rose 0.9 percent in May, following a 0.6 percent rise in April, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the biggest percentage gain since December.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks struggled for direction in early trading Monday. Major stock indexes fell in the opening minutes, and then wavered between small gains and losses.
LONDON (AP) — British prosecutors said Monday they are examining whether they can bring criminal charges on top of the massive fines imposed on Barclays bank for a financial market manipulation scandal. The announcement followed hours after Barclays' chairman, Marcus Agius, resigned and accepted ultimate responsibility for the misbehavior between 2005 and 2009 which cost the company $453 million in fines by U.S. and British agencies.
LONDON (AP) — European markets made further gains Monday as investors continued to cheer the continent's latest efforts to deal with a debt crisis that has clouded the outlook for the global economy. However, their advance faltered as U.S. stocks fell after a closely-watched U.S. manufacturing survey suggested the sector is contracting again. Though Europe's debt crisis has been the markets' focus for weeks, U.S. economic indicators remain key to global sentiment.
LONDON (AP) — Unemployment in the 17-country euro currency bloc hit another record in May as the crippling financial crisis pushed the continent toward the brink of recession, official figures showed Monday. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said unemployment rose to 11.1 percent in May from 11 percent the previous month. May's rate was the highest since the euro was launched in 1999 and adds further urgency to the eurozone countries' plan to create economic growth and cut excessive government debt.
NEW YORK (AP) — Lending to small businesses is recovering after a four-month decline. A study released Friday by PayNet, a research firm that tracks loans to small business, shows that lending rose 12 percent in May from April's levels. That's the largest increase since June 2009, when the economy was pulling out of the recession.
BEIJING (AP) — Apple has paid $60 million to settle a dispute in China over ownership of the iPad name, a court announced Monday, removing a potential obstacle to sales of the popular tablet computer in the key Chinese market. Apple's dispute with Shenzhen Proview Technology highlighted the possible pitfalls for global companies in China's infant trademark system. It also posed a challenge for the communist government, which wants to attract technology investors to develop China's economy.
ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — Dell said Monday that it's buying Quest Software for about $2.36 billion, ending recent speculation about who the unnamed bidder was in the battle for the company with investment firm Insight Venture Partners. With consumer demand for PCs declining, Dell wants to branch out beyond the business of making personal computers into more lucrative fields. Helped by a recent string of acquisitions of software companies, Dell is trying to grow into advising corporations and governments on how to manage technology needs and selling them more software and computing equipment.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Airbus's planned aircraft assembly plant in Alabama will cost $600 million to build and will employ 1,000 people when it reaches full production, officials said ahead of a formal announcement Monday. The European company's first aircraft assembly plant in America will produce A320 single-aisle passenger planes that will compete with Boeing.