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    * 30-yr and 10-yr yields hit two-month lows. * U.S. July ISM data weaker-than-expected. * Wariness ahead of U.S. jobs data caps short-term yield decline. By Sam Forgione. U.S. long-dated and benchmark Treasuries yields hit their lowest levels in two months on Monday after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data damped expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in September.

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    Tougher bank rules in effect to avert another global financial crisis may have played a role in changes in market-making in the bond market, but they are unlikely the dominant force behind the decline in bond market liquidity, a top Federal Reserve official said on Monday.

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    Spending on U.S. construction projects rose 0.1% in June, well below forecast. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.8% increase. Yet the increase in spending in May was revised up sharply to 1.8% from 0.9%.

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    Puerto Rico has been dubbed "America's Greece." The island defaulted on its debt for the first time ever on Monday. 1. Puerto Rico is now in default. 2. In total, Puerto Rico owes about $70 billion to its creditors. 3. Puerto Rico is in a debt crisis because the government has overspent for years while the island's economy has shrank.

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    U.S. construction spending barely rose in June as private outlays posted their biggest drop in a year, but the underlying trend suggested the economy remained on solid ground. Construction spending increased 0.1 percent, the smallest rise since January, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

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    U.S. manufacturers decelerated a bit in July after growing at fastest rate in five months in June, a survey of executives found. Market News and Reuters said the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index fell to 52.7% last month from 53.5% in June. That was below than the 53.7% forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

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    Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector edged up in July, according to an industry report released on Monday. Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53.8 in July, up slightly from 53.6 in June, which was its lowest level since October 2013. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

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    Wall Street opened little changed Monday, with investors sifting through economic data for clues to the strength of the U.S. economy and the potential timing of an expected Federal Reserve rate hike. The S&P 500 traded up less than 0.1% at 2,105 in early action, while the Dow industrials added 7 points to 17,698. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2% to 5,137. Ahead of the opening bell, data showed U.S. personal spending rose by 0.2% in June, while personal income rose 0.4%.

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    The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed in July and disappointed expectations, according to an industry report released on Monday. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 52.7 from 53.5 the month before. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector.

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    WASHINGTON-- American consumers are the most confident in years, but they sure aren't spending like it. Consumer spending rose a modest 0.2% in June, one month after outlays rose at the fastest pace in a year and a half. And the big increase in May wasn't quite as big as it looked: the government trimmed the spending gain in May to 0.7% from 0.9%.

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    U.S. factory activity slipped in July and consumer spending advanced at its slowest pace in four months in June, indicating that the economy had lost some momentum recently. But that could be short-lived as major automakers on Monday reported stronger-than-expected U.S. sales last month, which came after a dip in June and kept the industry on track for its best year in a decade.

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    American consumers spent at a slower pace in June, especially on big-ticket items such as new cars, after a big bump in May, government figures show. Personal spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% last month, the Commerce Department said Monday. Personal income rose 0.4% for the third straight month.

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    It is getting late early for the doves. With only a little more than six weeks until the Federal Reserve's next meeting, which could see an end to its nearly seven-year experiment with zero interest rates, there still are a handful of official data releases that could tip the balance toward a delay. The most likely culprit would be sudden weakness in the labor market.

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     U.S. car sales, the July employment situation report, key earnings reports and economic data are all expected highlights on Wall Street for the week of Aug. 3. Automakers gear up to report their sales figures Monday.

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    America's economy and stocks took some punches earlier this year. "The second half is going to be better for the economy and the market than the first half," says Art Hogan, managing director at Wunderlich Securities in New York. Hogan and other experts see the economy and stocks picking up momentum, despite a slew of headwinds. What's driving this optimism?

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    DANA POINT, Calif.--Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist who co-founded a sprawling web of conservative interest groups, opened his biannual conference here Saturday by calling for an end to corporate welfare and singling out "big banks" as a primary offender. The press-shy 79- year-old chief executive of Koch Industries took the nation's biggest banks to task for accepting "massive bailouts" and cheap loans from the Federal Reserve in return for the federal...

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    Midsummer report card on labor market often hard to grade. A hearty gain in U.S. jobs in July would put the Federal Reserve on the cusp of its first increase in interest rates since the end of the Great Recession. But midsummer employment reports often have a way of blowing up the narrative.

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    70% of silver production in 2014 came as a byproduct of other mining. It has been an unhappy July for gold bugs, but the yellow metal's rout--and declines in industrial metals prices as well--could be setting the stage for a significant silver rally, argues one analyst. That's because silver is often mined as a byproduct of copper gold, zinc and lead, wrote Simona Gambarini, a London- based commodities economist at Capital Economics, in a note.

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    General Electric Co.'s GE Capital unit for now will remain designated as "systemically important" - a tag that carries greater regulatory scrutiny, a U.S. regulatory panel announced on Friday. The Financial Stability Oversight Council said that General Electric (GE), which in April announced it plans to shed most of its finance unit, did not contest the FSOC's decision in its annual review.