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    U.S. part-time employment is fast-approaching levels common since the 1970s in a sign that a key part of labor market slack may be almost gone, giving the Fed one less reason to delay hiking interest rates frozen near zero for more than six years. Central bankers watch the part-time figures as a measure of labor market health.

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    U.S. part-time employment is fast-approaching levels common since the 1970s in a sign that a key part of labor market slack may be almost gone, giving the Fed one less reason to delay hiking interest rates frozen near zero for more than six years. Central bankers watch the part-time figures as a measure of labor market health.

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    No. 1 U.S. food distributor Sysco Corp (SYY) has filed a memorandum opposing government efforts to block its proposed purchase of rival US Foods Inc on Tuesday, according to court records. The sealed memorandum was one of many documents that Sysco has filed in its fight with the Federal Trade Commission's over whether it can merge with No. 2 US Foods.

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    ADP study blames cheaper gas, stronger dollar for fresh woes. WASHINGTON-- The steep drop in energy prices and soaring value of the U.S. dollar took a toll on men, big companies and the South in the first three months of 2015, a study shows. Large payroll processor ADP said wages and hours worked rose more slowly in the first quarter compared with the final months of 2014, mainly because of a drop-off in the South.

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    The Bank of England is swimming against the tide, albeit gently. In a world where central banks have been loosening policy in droves, the BOE is still thinking about raising rates. That is despite inflation remaining at zero-- a strange phenomenon for Britons used to prices rising relatively steeply in the postcrisis world.

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    Rebounding from a tough winter, sales of existing homes rose 6.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million, the fastest pace in 18 months, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a March rate of 5.08 million, compared with an originally reported February rate of 4.88 million. On Wednesday NAR tweaked February's pace to 4.89 million.

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    WASHINGTON-- Springing back from a tough winter and supported by the growing economy, sales of used homes in March reached the fastest pace in 18 months, according to data released Wednesday. If such strong results keep up, 2015 could be the best year for used-home sales in almost a decade, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. "After a quiet start to the year, sales activity picked up greatly throughout the country," he said.

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    U.S. home resales surged to their highest level in 18 months in March as more homes came on the market, a sign of strength in housing ahead of the spring selling season. The fairly upbeat report from the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday implied the economy was regaining some momentum after hitting a speed bump at the start of the year.

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    * Existing home sales increase 6.1 percent in March. * Housing inventory rises 2 percent from year ago. * Median house price increases 7.8 percent versus year ago. By Lucia Mutikani. U.S. home resales surged to their highest level in 18 months in March as more homes came on the market, a sign of strength in housing ahead of the spring selling season.

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    Bad weather might have slowed GDP to a rate of only 0.5%. Here are three important issues in the economy I'm thinking about:. 1. The U.S. economy sure looks anemic.

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    U.S. Treasuries prices extended their earlier decline on Wednesday as a stronger-than-forecast 6.1 percent rise in domestic home resales in March revived bets the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates later this year. The 30-year bond was down as much as 1-4/32 point with a yield of 2.643 percent, which was the highest since mid-March, according to Reuters data.

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    U.S. home resales surged to their highest level in 18 months in March as inventories improved, a sign of strength in the housing market ahead of the spring selling season. The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday existing home sales increased 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.19 million units, the highest level since September 2013.

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    U.S. home prices climbed 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, putting the increase over the past 12 months at 5.4%, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Tuesday. The yearly rise in prices was up slightly from January. The FHFA monthly index is calculated using the purchase prices of houses tied to mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

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    The U.S. federal funds rate, which banks charge each other to borrow their excess reserves, averaged 0.13 percent on Tuesday for a seventh straight day, Fed data released early Wednesday showed.

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    Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as interest rates declined, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 2.3 percent in the week ended April 17.

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    Sales and profits at Lockheed Martin (LMT) decreased in the first quarter, primarily due to fewer aircraft orders and slower sales in its missiles and information systems business, the company said Tuesday. But chief executive Marillyn Hewson reiterated an optimistic outlook about the future of defense spending, a theme that executives at major defense contractors have adopted in recent earnings calls. “While it is too early to predict the final level of [the 2016] defense budget, it is encouraging that the President and Congress are aligned in their recognition of the need to increase defense spending from the recent constrained level,” she said in a call with analysts. President Obama’s budget request is higher than the limits proposed by the Budget Control Act, which calls for renewed federal spending cuts — known as sequestration — in 2016. Hewson also stressed the company’s pivot to international growth, saying that despite a potential increase in domestic business, it was on target to grow its share of foreign work to 25 percent of total sales in the next few years. Lockheed Martin (LMT) executives have identified international growth as a priority for the company to offset drops in domestic spending.An increasing share of that growth is coming from the company’s information systems segment, Bruce Tanner, Lockheed’s chief financial officer, told analysts. The information segment, which is centered in the Washington region, has seen lower sales than other parts of the business because it is more vulnerable to cuts in federal spending. [Why Lockheed Martin (LMT) is looking abroad]Internationally, cybersecurity is a growing portion of the company’s business, Tanner said. Information technology support, air traffic management and intelligence were three other key areas for Lockheed’s work abroad, he said.After addressing technical challenges, Lockheed plans to deliver 45 F-35 fighter jets to the Pentagon this year and is on track to achieve initial operating capability for the Marine Corps this summer, Hewson said. [Meet the most fascinating part of the F-35: The $400,000 helmet]The company’s space systems and mission systems segment saw an increase in sales for the quarter, due to the commencement of a large Air Force contract known as Space Fence to track space debris floating around the Earth. Lockheed Martin (LMT) recorded sales of $10.1 billion in the first quarter, down from $10.7 billion a year ago, while profit decreased to $878 million or $2.74 per diluted share, from $933 million or $2.87 per diluted share in 2014. The company’s stock price closed down 0.3 percent at $196.3.




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    Sales and profits at Lockheed Martin (LMT) decreased in the first quarter, primarily due to fewer aircraft orders and slower sales in its missiles and information systems business, the company said Tuesday. But chief executive Marillyn Hewson reiterated an optimistic outlook about the future of defense spending, a theme that executives at major defense contractors have adopted in recent earnings calls. “While it is too early to predict the final level of [the 2016] defense budget, it is encouraging that the President and Congress are aligned in their recognition of the need to increase defense spending from the recent constrained level,” she said in a call with analysts. President Obama’s budget request is higher than the limits proposed by the Budget Control Act, which calls for renewed federal spending cuts — known as sequestration — in 2016. Hewson also stressed the company’s pivot to international growth, saying that despite a potential increase in domestic business, it was on target to grow its share of foreign work to 25 percent of total sales in the next few years. Lockheed Martin (LMT) executives have identified international growth as a priority for the company to offset drops in domestic spending.An increasing share of that growth is coming from the company’s information systems segment, Bruce Tanner, Lockheed’s chief financial officer, told analysts. The information segment, which is centered in the Washington region, has seen lower sales than other parts of the business because it is more vulnerable to cuts in federal spending. [Why Lockheed Martin (LMT) is looking abroad]Internationally, cybersecurity is a growing portion of the company’s business, Tanner said. Information technology support, air traffic management and intelligence were three other key areas for Lockheed’s work abroad, he said.After addressing technical challenges, Lockheed plans to deliver 45 F-35 fighter jets to the Pentagon this year and is on track to achieve initial operating capability for the Marine Corps this summer, Hewson said. [Meet the most fascinating part of the F-35: The $400,000 helmet]The company’s space systems and mission systems segment saw an increase in sales for the quarter, due to the commencement of a large Air Force contract known as Space Fence to track space debris floating around the Earth. Lockheed Martin (LMT) recorded sales of $10.1 billion in the first quarter, down from $10.7 billion a year ago, while profit decreased to $878 million or $2.74 per diluted share, from $933 million or $2.87 per diluted share in 2014. The company’s stock price closed down 0.3 percent at $196.3.