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    On Sunday, Greece will vote on a landmark referendum: "Yes" or "No" to another bailout and more austerity? Polls show a contest too close to call. Years of recession and austerity, compounded by failed political brinksmanship, have left Greece dead broke.

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    By Costas Paris and Juliet Samuel. Amid the busy tourist season, Antonis Tartaras' eyewear boutiques in Athens and Corfu are down to about a week's worth of stock. He owes foreign suppliers about 20,000 euros for his last delivery of high-end sunglasses.

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    Across the nation, calls for' Yes' and calls for' No'. The war of words to sway Greek voters on this Sunday's referendum waged on, as the clock counted down until polls open at 7 a.m. local time, or 12 a.m. Across Greece on Friday, the calls for voters to vote yes or no were emblazoned everywhere, from rally banners to city walls to clothing lapels.

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    NEW YORK – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sees waning economic headwinds, which means your investment strategy might need some upgrading before a potential rate hike.

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    Lauren Miller loves her summer job. She just started working at the Hershey Lodge in Pennsylvania, roasting s'mores and organizing activities for kids. Miller, 16, earns the minimum wage, but she doesn't mind -- her job is a foot in the right direction. "I think it creates a lot of responsibility in teens," says Miller, who got her driver's license last week.

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    Two sides have held private discussions, he indicates. A bailout deal between Greece and its creditors is almost finalized, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Friday, hinting that the two sides have been holding private discussions this week. No matter what the result of Sunday's referendum, an agreement is "in the offing", Varoufakis said, speaking on RTE's "Morning Ireland" radio show on Friday.

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    An improving job market is giving Americans the wherewithal to keep buying more. But things aren't so good that spending is about to really rip. The economy added 223,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department reported Thursday--a decent pace of hiring that was tempered by downward revisions to April and May figures.

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    The chief executives of Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) could collect up to $4 million a year in pay as a result of new government rules that ease restrictions on the leaders’ compensation six years after the mortgage finance giants received massive bailouts to cover losses suffered during the housing bust.New filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission detail the pay package for Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and for Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton.Both are eligible to receive a base salary of $750,000, deferred salary worth $2.05 million and deferred salary based on performance of $1.2 million. The companies declined comment beyond what they said in filings outlining the new compensation levels.Neither executive was in place in 2008 when the government took over Fannie Mae (FNMA), based in the District, and Freddie Mac (FMCC), based in McLean, Va. At the time, the finance giants were teetering, having suffered huge losses by guaranteeing risky mortgages leading up to the housing downturn.Under terms outlined by the government’s bailout plan, compensation for the chief executives was limited to $600,000. The decision to raise the limit was approved by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the companies.“The plan defers significant compensation to ensure retention, is based on performance, does not include a bonus and is consistent with FHFA’s statutory responsibilities to ensure safety and soundness and a liquid national housing finance market,” Mel Watt, head of the FHFA, said in a statement.The $4 million amount is also below the typical compensation that 75 percent of executives in comparable companies make, he said.The two government-controlled mortgage giants are profitable again thanks to an improving housing market, and the enterprises have paid back Treasury funds used to bail them out.Still, the White House and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle sharply criticized the change.Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said the raises suggested a return to “business as usual” at a time when lawmakers are trying to recast the federal role in mortgage finance.“These extraordinary pay raises fly in the face of the legislative intent,” he said.In a statement, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he understood the agency’s rationale to increase compensation as a way to retain talent. But the decision could drive the mortgage finance giants back to the “failed” model of private gains and public losses, he said.Both Warner and Corker have sponsored legislation to reform housing finance.






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    How to win this 4th of July. The cost of a July 4th cookout has jumped 30% in the last decade. Here are five ways you can save on your grilling this year, and we found a whiskey to go with it, too.

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    By Anora Mahmudova and Carla Mozee, MarketWatch. Economy adds 223,000 jobs in June, unemployment rate falls to 5.3%. U.S. stocks ended a volatile holiday-shortened week with losses, as investors grappled with heightened uncertainty tied to Greece ahead of a Sunday referendum to vote on the country's status as a eurozone member.

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    For details of foreign central banks' holdings of U.S. marketable securities held at the Federal Reserve, see: http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/Current/h41.pdf.

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    For details of the Federal Reserve's money supply report, see: http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/current/h41.pdf. http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/h6.pdf. http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h3/current/h3.pdf.

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    Expectations for the report were elevated after Wednesday's strong ADP report. The dollar traded lower Thursday after the June jobs report revealed that the pace of employment growth has been lower than it was a year ago, even as the labor market has recovered from its first-quarter slump. The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in June, matching the consensus forecast from a survey of economists conducted by MarketWatch.

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    Forget becoming a tech geek. Maybe we should all just find jobs as stockbrokers. Certainly, that was one takeaway from the latest employment report, which showed growth last month of 20,000 workers in insurance agencies, investment firms and other financial institutions.

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    The U.S. economy is doing much better than people think, which is why the Federal Reserve will be scrambling next year to speed up the normalization of interest rates, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics and the winner of the MarketWatch Forecaster of the Month award for June. "The trend in unemployment is barreling down much faster than they think," said Shepherdson in a phone interview. "It's bound to undershoot" the Fed's estimate of full employment.

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    Heading into the long holiday weekend, investors will remain focused on Greece, which will have its referendum vote on Sunday to determine whether the country will stay in the eurozone. Also in the news: The jobs report for June was released on Thursday.

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    WASHINGTON-- Americans supposedly haven't done a whole lot of shopping this year, one reason why the economy has been lackluster. But retail stores sure are hiring as if sales are on the up and up. Retailers hired 33,000 people in June after taking on 26,000 new workers in May.

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    Unemployment rate falls to 5.3% as more people leave labor force. WASHINGTON-- The U.S. created 223,000 new jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in more than seven years, but the latest employment report also showed the economy is still laboring the break out of a slow-growth rut that characterized the six-year old recovery. The economy has produced at least 200,000 jobs in 13 of the last 15 months and the gains in hiring have been widespread.

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    WASHINGTON-- Home builders have added few jobs in recent months, according to government data released Thursday that showed weakness in an industry facing a variety of demand and supply challenges. Employment for residential-building construction fell by 6,100 spots last month, the weakest showing in five years. Employment for residential specialty trade contractors rose by 3,700 jobs, but that also is not a great result.