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Stocks edge higher...IMF lowers US forecast...Manufacturing rebound...Homebuilder confidence rising

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are in positive territory in morning trading, but the gains are modest. Deal news is lifting a handful of stocks. Covidien is up more than 20 percent after the Ireland-based medical device manufacturer agreed to be bought by U.S. competitor Medtronic. Williams Companies is also up 20 percent after announcing a deal to expand its stake in Access Midstream Partners.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund has revised its forecast for U.S. economic growth lower. The IMF predicts the U.S. economy will grow a modest 2 percent this year. The IMF notes the shrinkage of the U.S. economy in the first quarter, caused by brutal winter weather and a slowing housing recovery. However, the IMF says recent economic data suggest there will be a "meaningful rebound" the rest of the year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing output bounced back last month. The Federal Reserve says greater production of autos, computers and furniture led the way as factory output rose 0.6 percent in May after 0.1 drop in April. Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, also rose 0.6 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders are feeling somewhat more confident about the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to 49 in June. However, readings below 50 indicate that builders view sales conditions are poor rather than good.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned away Argentina's appeal of lower court rulings that ordered the country to pay more than $1.3 billion to hedge funds that hold some of its defaulted bonds. The dispute stems from debt left unpaid when the Argentine economy crashed in 2001. Argentina says making the country pay cash in full to investors who didn't accept bond swaps in exchange for defaulted debt could destabilize its economy and the global economy.

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The Associated Press


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