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Stocks open higher...Pending home sales improve...White House says Trump will decide soon on ending health payments



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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks indexes are starting the week mostly higher as media companies gain. Scripps Networks, the company behind HGTV and the Food Channel, is gaining after it agreed to be bought by Discovery Communications for $14.6 billion. Discovery shares fell. Charter Communications jumped after the Wall Street Journal reported that Charter isn't interested in buying Sprint.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans signed more contracts to buy homes in June, snapping a three-month decline in pending sales. The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index rose 1.5 percent in June to 110.2. The gain still puts the pace of contract signings below its March level. The index has increased just 0.5 percent over the past 12 months. Prices are climbing faster than wages while number of homes listed for sale has plunged. There were 1.96 million homes for sale in June, a 7.1 percent decline from a year ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is insisting that the Senate resume efforts to repeal and replace the nation's health care law. And it's signaling that President Donald Trump stands ready to end required payments to insurers this week to let "Obamacare implode" and force congressional action. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told "Fox News Sunday" that Trump will make a decision soon on whether to end the insurance payments.

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal securities fraud trial of former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli (SHKREL'-ee) is moving toward the decision-making phase. Jurors at the trial in New York could start deliberating today. On Friday, they heard closing arguments by prosecutors accusing Shkreli of looting his own drug company to pay back disgruntled investors in two failed hedge funds he ran. The defense insisted there were no victims because everyone got their original investments back and even made hefty profits.

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A franchise that already controlled two Coca-Cola bottlers in Pennsylvania has snapped up 11 more in the state and West Virginia. The Erie Times-News reports that the acquisitions by Abarta Coca-Cola Beverages are tripling the size of the Pittsburgh company from about 550 employees to more than 1,500.

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The Associated Press

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