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Stocks gain slightly ... Corporations can opt out of contraceptive coverage ... Home contracts up

Monday - 6/30/2014, 11:40am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are up slightly in early trading as the market appears set to end June with a modest gain. The stock market ended last week with a slight loss. But that was a minor setback. The S&P 500 has managed a gain of 1.9 percent in June, despite rising oil prices and signs of tepid economic growth

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requiring contraceptive coverage for women. Today's 5-4 decision is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. The Obama administration must now search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies' health insurance plans.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says public sector unions can't collect fees from home health care workers who object to being affiliated with a union. The justices said collecting the fees violates the First Amendment rights of non-union workers. The ruling is a financial blow to labor unions that have signed up hundreds of thousands of home health care workers.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes shot up in May. But the pace of buying this year remains slower than in 2013, in part because of sluggish sales during winter. The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 6.1 percent month. It was the sharpest month-over-month gain in more than four years, but the index remains 5.2 percent below its level a year ago. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases.

DETROIT (AP) -- Kenneth Feinberg says there is no limit on the total amount he can pay people harmed in crashes caused by faulty General Motors ignition switches. The nation's top compensation expert also says GM won't have any say in the amounts he can offer people, which could include drivers, passengers and even pedestrians. The terms are to be announced in Washington today. GM recalled 2.6 million small cars this year.


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