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Stocks surge...Rising optimism among homebuilders...Court: Generic delays can be illegal

Monday - 6/17/2013, 12:09pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are seeing strong gains on Wall Street this morning ahead of a two-day meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers. Traders have been trying to figure out when the Fed will start to cut back on its huge bond-buying program. The benchmark indexes are all up more than 1 percent with the Dow about 175 points higher in morning trading.

UNDATED (AP) -- A new survey finds U.S. homebuilders optimistic about sales for the first time in seven years. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index leaped to 52 this month from 44 in May. A reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says deals between pharmaceutical corporations and their generic drug competitors, which government officials say keep cheaper forms of medicine off the market, can sometimes be illegal. The justices voted 5-3 to allow the government to challenge what it calls "pay-for-delay" deals or "reverse settlements." That's when big pharmaceutical corporations pay generic drug competitors to delay releasing their cheaper versions of brand-name drugs.

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) -- A top European Union official says talks on a sweeping new free trade agreement between the EU and the U.S. will begin next month. Negotiations would focus on lowering tariffs and rules that hinder the trade. At the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland today, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the trade pact could create 2 million jobs.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple says it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data for the six months ended in May. The company had asked the U.S government to be able to share the number of requests it received related to national security and how it handled them. Those requests were made as part of Prism, the recently revealed highly classified National Security Agency program that seizes records from Internet companies.

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