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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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    The U.S. Federal Reserve will not need to see balanced risks to the economy to proceed with an interest rate hike in September, according to former Fed officials and a review of central bank statements through recent turns in policy.

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    The Federal Reserve did nothing at its July meeting, but the likelihood that they soon will hung a cloud over trading on Thursday. Not helping matters was the fact that while second-quarter GDP rebounded from weakness in the first quarter, it wasn't at quite the pace that economists had expected. Those worries kept investors largely on the sidelines on Thursday with stocks making no big moves.

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    * U.S. Q2 GDP up 2.3 pct, just shy of 2.6 pct forecast. * Curve flattens, September rate-hike expectations grow. By Daniel Bases. U.S. Treasuries prices were mixed on Thursday and the yield curve turned flatter following strong U.S. economic growth data that led to gains for longer-dated debt and stable short-end prices as expectations of a September U.S. rate rise heightened.

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    Citigroup (C) is the biggest denier of help through TARP. WASHINGTON-- Mortgage servicers reject 72% of struggling borrowers from a federal program aimed at creating more affordable monthly mortgage payments so owners can keep their homes, a federal watchdog reported Wednesday. "All cannot be right," said the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a federal bailout enacted in 2008 to protect the U.S. and financial firms from a financial tsunami.

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    Would you pay 17 extra cents for a Big Mac if it meant the person who prepared it could earn a living wage? What about an extra 30 cents each time you ate out at any fast food restaurant?These are the small prices we would have to pay on average to ensure that fast food workers around the country earned an hourly-wage of $15, according to a new study by researchers at Purdue University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management."It would vary a bit, depending on where you live, but that gives you a sense," said Richard Ghiselli, who is the Head of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University, and lead author of the study. Ghiselli used data from both the National Restaurant Association  and Deloitte & Touche to estimate how much fast food companies would need to boost sales given varying changes in the minimum wage. Assuming the industry maintained its current profit margin of 6.3 percent — which, to be fair, is fairly slim — hiking the pay floor at fast food restaurants to $15 an hour would mean just a 4.3 percent increase in prices.  "If we were talking about the price of gas, that would probably be headline news, but people have a very different reaction to food," Ghiselli said. "A four percent increase in the price of fast food doesn't bother people as much." That being said, it wouldn't be a four percent increase for everyone. Ghiselli used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate the average hourly pay of fast food workers in the United States (roughly $10.64). Any place where workers currently make less than that, the price hike would likely end up being much more; any place workers make more, the opposite would be true.  "Someone in Lafayette, Indiana, where I live and we do pay $7.25, is going to be affected a lot more," Ghiselli said. "And so are prices consumers will have to pay."Someone in Chicago, on the other hand, where the minimum wage is in the process of being increased to $13, will likely see a smaller price hike. And customers in Seattle, where the minimum wage is already $15, won't see any at all.There are, to be fair, a few limitations inherent in the researchers' model. For one, the consequences of raising the minimum wage for fast food workers might affect more than merely how much they make and how much consumers pay. There's research showing that higher wages don't necessarily lead to job cuts — and evidence that better paid low-skilled workers are a blessing for employers because they're more productive. But branches could decide to downsize their staffs once labor is twice as expensive, especially if they prioritize keeping prices low.There's also the reality that it's hard to establish what exactly a fair or appropriate wage is for low-skilled workers. Everyone should be entitled to earn a living wage, but the cost of living varies a lot depending on where you live. In New York City, life is expensive; in Lafayette, Ind., less so. "Is it $15, or is it $22, which is what people make on average in the private sector?" said Ghiselli. "I don't know — it might be lower. It probably depends on where you live."And fast food restaurants, facing higher wages, might not raise prices evenly across their menus. McDonald's (MCD) might hike the price of french fries but barely touch the price of hamburgers; Taco Bell could decide to only charge more for Gorditas.But Ghiselli's model, despite its assumptions, is still a telling sign of what kind of sacrifice it would take on behalf of consumers to help a large swath of those who earn at or below the minimum wage — especially since $15, though it has gained traction as of late, is at the higher end of the minimum wage hikes being considered. At the moment, more than 1.5 million Americans working in food preparation and other related service jobs subsist on wages that are at or below the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fast food industry alone employs roughly half of all Americans who persist on that kind of pay. These jobs are also among the most grueling — or at least poorest paying — since operating without table service means earning money  without tips.   If an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac is too much to ask, maybe people will consider accepting a slightly smaller hamburger. Ghiselli also estimated how much fast food restaurants would need to downsize their food if they wanted to keep prices the same. The answer? About 12 percent.






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    By Myra P. Saefong and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch. GDP data, Fed statement help lift the dollar. Gold futures fell Thursday, settling at their lowest level in four sessions as the dollar strengthened in the wake of upbeat U.S. economic data and comments from the Federal Reserve indicating that the central bank has left open the possibility of a interest-rate hike in September.

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    Bill Gross, the Pimco co-founder whose trading successes earned him the nickname of 'the Bond King,' says the Federal Reserve's ultra-low interest rates aren't a cure to the U.S.'s economic woes. They're actually part of the problem.

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    ConocoPhillips (COP), which is working to cut $1 billion in operating costs as low crude prices persist, has so far cut about 1,000 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce and more cuts are to come, the company's chief financial officer said. The Houston company is going through a review of operations that "is going to result in more jobs cuts," CFO Jeff Sheets told Reuters.

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    Expectations the Federal Reserve will move as early as September to raise rates seem to have solidified this week, and it is the U.S. dollar that is making the most of it. The dollar, of course, doesn't trade in a vacuum. While the greenback's big gains since April of 2014 haven't hobbled U.S. stocks despite being a convenient excuse for corporate performance shortfalls, they've certainly been cited as a factor in knocking down commodity prices, including gold's plunge to 5 1/ 2 year lows...

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    The Obama administration on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to review last year's insider-trading decision by a federal appeals court that overturned two convictions and set a higher standard for proving the financial crime. In a petition filed with the Supreme Court, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said December's decision at the Second U.S.

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    The U.S. on Thursday will release growth figures for the months between April and June, providing a read on the direction of the economy following a contracting in the first quarter.Economists expect that the nation’s gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter.That would put the U.S. on steady but unspectacular footing while also signaling a rebound from a sluggish winter, when snowfall, a West Coast port strike, and a strong dollar brought the economy to a near-standstill.The Federal Reserve had signaled on Wednesday that it could soon raise interest rates for the first time in nearly seven years, and Thursday's data will likely influence the decision. The International Monetary Fund predicts that the U.S. economy will grow 2.5 percent for the year, an estimate that has been trimmed slightly over the last few months. The IMF has also urged the Fed to hold off on its rate hike until the economy shows greater strength including wage growth.The numbers released Thursday are only preliminary and will be revised twice more in the coming months.






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    Annual GDP averaged 2% instead of 2.3%, government now says. WASHINGTON-- The U.S. economy grew somewhat more slowly from 2012 to 2014 than previously estimated, according to a new government approach to gross domestic product that addresses flaws in how the report is produced. The U.S. expanded at average 2% rate each year from 2012 to 2014 instead of 2.3% as reported under the old method of calculating GDP, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

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    The euro's losses against the dollar grew on Thursday as traders cited a Financial Times report that said the International Monetary Fund's staff told the board Greece's high indebtedness and its poor record of implementing reforms disqualify the euro zone nation from another IMF rescue. The single currency hit a session low of $1.0911 before edging up to $1.0922, down 0.55 percent on the day.

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    The U.S. economy firmed up in the spring after a soft start to the beginning of the year, putting the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates as soon as September for the first time in nearly a decade. Gross domestic product--the value of everything a nation produces--rose at a 2.3% annual rate from April to June, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The economy grew at 0.6% clip in the first quarter instead of contracting 0.2%, revised government figures show.

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    * U.S. Q2 GDP up 2.3 pct, just shy of 2.6 pct forecast. * Curve flattens, September rate-hike expectations grow. By Daniel Bases. U.S. Treasuries prices were mixed on Thursday and the yield curve turned flatter following strong U.S. economic growth data that led to gains for longer-dated debt and stable short-end prices as expectations of a September U.S. rate rise heightened.

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    The average rate for a 30- year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.98% in the week that ended July 30, falling to the lowest level in almost two months, from the prior week's reading of 4.04%, according to a Thursday report from federally controlled mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. "Monday's 8% decline in Chinese stock prices triggered similar- though smaller- sell-offs in global equity markets. The associated flight to quality drove U.S.

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    The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits in the seven days ended July 25 stayed near the lowest level in decades, indicating the labor market is still on the upswing. New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 to 267,000 in the seven days ended July 25, the Labor Department said. The rise was less than expected.

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    Growth in the U.S. economy firmed up in the spring after a soft start to the beginning of the year, prodded by higher consumer spending on big-ticket items such as new cars and trucks and the strongest housing market in years. Buying oil stocks at these prices is just spilling money. The pain in the oil market is far from over, and energy stocks are no bargain, writes Jeff Reeves.

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    The dollar briefly extended its earlier gains against a basket of currencies on Thursday as data showed the U.S. economy improved from a meek first quarter, supporting the view the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates by year-end.