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Business Highlights:

June 29, 2021 GMT

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Rental assistance fell victim to politics, bureaucracy

NEW YORK (AP) — A rental crisis spurred by the pandemic prompted many states to make bold promises to help renters, but most failed to deliver on them after Congress passed the sweeping CARES Act in March 2020. A handful of states, many led by Republicans, offered little to no assistance. State leaders set aside at least $2.6 billion from the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund in 2020 to prop up struggling renters, but more than $425 million of that — or 16% — never made it into the pockets of tenants or their landlords, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press. A federal eviction moratorium, which was set to expire June 30, has been extended to July 31. It is threatening millions with losing their homes.

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US home prices jump at fastest pace in more than 15 years

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices soared in April at the fastest pace since 2005 as Americans bid up prices on a limited supply of available properties. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, jumped nearly 15% in April from the previous year. That is up from a 13.4% annual gain in March. The price gains have been so dramatic that home sales have started to slow as more would-be buyers are priced out of the market.

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Consumer confidence up in June, highest level since pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence rose for a fifth month in June to the highest level since the pandemic began last year as households responded to increased vaccinations and the further re-opening of businesses. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index increased to 127.3 in June, up from a May reading of 120.0. The June increase reflected an improvement in consumers’ assessment of current conditions. The proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles and major appliances all rose as did intentions to take a vacation.

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United orders 270 jets to replace old ones, plan for growth

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines is placing a huge order for new planes so it can replace aging ones and prepare for growth as the pandemic subsides. United said Tuesday that it will order 200 Boeing Max jets and 70 Airbus planes. The list price for all those planes is more than $30 billion, but airlines routinely get deep discounts — sometimes more than half. United isn’t saying how much it’s spending. The number of people flying in the United States has hit 2 million on several days recently. That’s still below 2019 figures, and international travel is much weaker.

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US agency orders automated vehicle makers to report crashes

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DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s highway safety agency has ordered automakers to report any crashes involving fully autonomous vehicles or partially automated driver assist systems. The move Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates the agency is taking a tougher stance on automated vehicle safety than in the past. It has been reluctant to issue any regulations of the new technology for fear of hampering adoption of the potentially life-saving systems. The order requires vehicle and equipment manufacturers and companies that operate the vehicles to report crashes on public roads involving fully autonomous vehicles, or those in which driver assist systems were operating immediately before or during a crash.

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Stocks hold steady at records in quiet day on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks drifted further into record heights in a listless day of trading on Tuesday, as Wall Street waits for the heavyweight economic data coming at the end of the week. The S&P 500 inched up by less than 0.1% and added to its all-time high set a day earlier. More stocks fell than rose within the index, but gains for tech companies made up for weakness for banks and utilities. The Nasdaq added 0.2% to its record. This week’s main event arrives Friday, when the U.S. government gives its monthly update on job growth and wage gains for workers.

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Supreme Court won’t sidetrack plans for natural gas pipeline

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has dealt a blow to New Jersey and other states seeking a way to oppose pipelines running through their land. The justices on Tuesday sided with a pipeline company in a dispute over New Jersey land the company needs for a natural gas pipeline.Both liberal and conservative justices joined to rule 5-4 for the PennEast Pipeline Co. The ruling says that companies building interstate pipelines, once their projects have been given the greenlight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, can obtain the land they need even in the face of state opposition.Both the Trump and Biden administrations had supported PennEast. Nineteen states had urged the Supreme Court to rule the other way and side with New Jersey.

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Americans apologize to Tokyo court for role in Ghosn escape

TOKYO (AP) — Two Americans charged in Japan with helping Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, jump bail and escape Japan for Lebanon have apologized in a Tokyo court. Michael Taylor and his son Peter spoke Tuesday at the Tokyo District Court. The elder Taylor said he was misinformed by Carole and Carlos Ghosn about “torture” under Japan’s criminal system. The two are charged with aiding a criminal. They were arrested in Massachusetts last year and extradited to Japan in March. Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, was arrested in November 2018. He says he is innocent. He fled to Lebanon in December 2019.

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The S&P 500 gained 1.19 points, or less than 0.1%, to 4,291.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.02 points, or less than 0.1%, to 34,292.29. The Nasdaq added 27.83 points, or 0.2%, to 14,528.33. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 13.50 points, or 0.6%, to 2,308.84.