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Stocks rising...Exports grow, but trade deficit widens...Home prices soaring

Tuesday - 6/4/2013, 12:00pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are modestly higher in early trading on Wall Street. They are getting a boost from news that the nation's trade deficit was not as wide as economists had expected and another report showing home prices on the rice. The Dow has been up as much as 40 points, while the S&P and the Nasdaq are also in positive territory.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit widened 8.5 percent to a little more than $40 billion in April. The Commerce Department report says exports increased to the second-highest level on record, but they were outpaced by demand here at home for foreign cars, cell phones and other imported goods.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Real estate data provider CoreLogic says U.S. home prices soared 12.1 percent in April from a year earlier. That's the biggest gain in more than seven years. The biggest jump was in Nevada, where prices were nearly 25 percent higher than a year ago. While more potential buyers have been looking for homes, the supply is 14 percent lower than a year ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is taking steps to encourage high tech innovation. Calls high tech patents "a key driver of economic growth." the White House announced five executive actions and seven recommendations for Congress to protect innovators from lawsuits. It says innovators are facing legal challenges from companies that obtain patents but don't do actual research or development.

ARMONK, N.Y. (AP) -- IBM is buying cloud computing company SoftLayer Technologies as it expands its online software business. Software stored and accessed on the Internet is increasingly popular with businesses because it lets workers in from any Internet-connected device. IBM expects to earn $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015.

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