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Stocks gain...Pfizer profit jumps...Spending slows

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising, sending the Dow Jones industrial average closer to 22,000 points. Banks are posting some of the biggest gains. Royal Caribbean Cruises is jumping after it raised its annual profit forecast following a strong quarter, and utility company Scana is climbing after it said it plans to end construction of two nuclear reactors in South Carolina. Under Armour is tumbling after the athletic apparel company lowered its revenue projections and said it will cut jobs and expenses. Oil prices turned lower.

UNDATED (AP) — Rising sales of most key drugs have helped boost Pfizer's second-quarter profit by 50 percent. The company's bottom line was also helped by lower one-time charges and reduced manufacturing costs. The top U.S. drugmaker beat Wall Street profit forecasts, tweaked its own 2017 forecast, and predicted numerous lucrative drugs will be approved over the next half-decade. Still, cheaper generic competition continues to eat away at Pfizer's revenue, which fell short of analyst expectations.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer spending slowed in June as income growth turned in the weakest performance in seven months. The Commerce Department says spending edged up a tiny 0.1 percent compared to a 0.2 percent rise in May. It was the weakest showing since spending increased a similar 0.1 percent in February. Incomes were flat in June following a 0.3 percent rise in May. It was the weakest showing since incomes fell 0.1 percent in November.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Lawsuits are pending against a construction company blamed for a power outage on North Carolina's Outer Banks, forcing visitors off the beaches and leaving tourist-dependent businesses without income. At least three lawsuits filed this week seek compensation from PCL Construction. Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he believes the company responsible should pay for damages once all the facts are known.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats and independents say upcoming legislation to rewrite the nation's tax code should ensure the middle class doesn't pay more and the "top 1 percent" doesn't pay less. In a letter to Republican leaders, including President Donald Trump, 45 of the 48 Senate Democratic caucus members said they won't support any upcoming GOP effort to overhaul the tax system that delivers cuts to the top 1 percent or adds to the government's $20 trillion debt.

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