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>>Consumer Confidence Jumps In June

(New York, NY) -- Americans are feeling much more confident about the economy. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumped more than seven points in June. That's its highest level since January 2022. The board's chief economist noted a spike in confidence among younger consumers and those earning over 35-thousand dollars. Despite an upbeat outlook for family finances, the survey also revealed fewer people plan to purchase cars and homes in the next six months.

 

>>Home Prices Show Unexpected Strength In April

(Washington, DC) -- A new report shows the U.S. housing market continued to strengthen in April. The latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20 city price Index rose nearly one percent last month. A combination of low inventory and high demand pushed home prices up overall nationwide. Miami, Chicago and Atlanta saw the biggest price gains on the 20 city index.

 

>>Rent Falling For The First Time In Years

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Rent is declining in the U.S. for the first time in three years. Economists say cooling inflation and a strong job market is the reason for the decline. The wave of "pandemic pricing" made rent soar and would-be homeowners remained renters because they were priced out of buying a home. Rents are expected to decline through the remainder of this year and into next year. It may take some time for this cooling to be reflected because of how infrequently the data is collected.

 

>>Actors Strike Deadline Looms

(Los Angeles, CA) -- A deadline for Hollywood actors and studios to get a deal done looms over the entertainment world this week. SAG-AFTRA's contract with studios expires on Friday. Over the weekend, the union told members that negotiations with studios had been "extremely productive." An actors strike would come as the industry is already facing production delays due to a writers strike. The writers work stoppage is now in its ninth week.

 

>>Meta Launches VR Subscription Service

(Menlo Park, CA) -- Meta is launching a new virtual reality subscription service for its headsets called Meta Quest-plus. The company made the announcement yesterday in an effort to generate recurring revenue. Users can pay seven-99 for access to two new games each month. The subscription is now available on the Meta Quest Store and compatible with all current and future VR headsets.

 

>>Problems Persist With Ford Explorer SUVs Despite Recall

(Dearborn, MI) -- Federal officials have issued a recall of over a quarter-million Ford Explorer SUVs. The issue is cracks in the rear axle mounting bolt that could allow the drive shaft to disconnect and the vehicle to roll even if in park. Ford engineers did a software upgrade that would have the emergency brake to engage if the drive shaft disconnected. At least two owners say the repair didn't work. Neither incident resulted in injuries and Ford says they are working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the issue.

 

>>Taco John's Responds To Taco Bell's Effort To Cancel Taco Tuesday Trademark

(Alexandria, VA) -- Taco John's is firing back at Taco Bell in the fight over the "Taco Tuesday" trademark. In a filing Friday, the parent company of the Wyoming-based Taco John's denied there is anything "not cool" about owning the trademark for the popular phrase. Taco Bell is attempting to have the trademark canceled after Taco John's has held it since 1989. In its response to Taco Bell's efforts, Taco John's said the petition to cancel the trademark is filled with "statements of opinion to which no response is required, including that Tuesday is a mediocre day of the week." Taco John's added that a registered trademark being "fun to say" does not constitute a legal basis to cancel the trademark.

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