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Georgia lawsuit still causing trouble for GM

DETROIT (AP) — For more than a year, a lawsuit filed by Brooke Melton's family has caused major migraines for General Motors.

Litigation over the 29-year-old nurse's death was settled by GM last October. But not before it laid bare how the company allowed millions of small cars to stay on the road more than a decade after GM discovered ignition switch flaws linked to at least 13 fatalities.

Now the case could upend GM's strategy to compensate victims and limit its legal liabilities in such tragedies.

The Melton family lawyers want to reopen the case and show that GM fraudulently concealed the switch problem. If they win, more plaintiffs are likely to take the company to court or expect bigger payments.

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From big to giant: Behemoth TVs start to take off

NEW YORK (AP) — Supersized isn't just for french fries.

Americans increasingly are replacing their once-enviable 50-inch TVs with even bigger screens. Think: 65-inches and up.

People are snagging big screens — pushing sales of them up 50 per cent in the past year while overall TV sales have faltered. As prices fall, hardcore TV watchers and video gamers are finding sets affordable that a few years ago would have been playthings for wealthier people.

Jarvis Jackson, for instance, plans to spend up to $1,500 for a 65-inch TV with Internet capability. Jackson, who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, says he'll scale back on dining out and postpone other purchases to make room in his budget.

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Twitter names Goldman Sachs executive to CFO post

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter is hiring a Goldman Sachs executive as its new chief financial officer, continuing a shake-up that has led to the departures of several executives in recent months.

The social media company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it hired Anthony Noto, 46, to replace current CFO Mike Gupta, who steered Twitter through its initial public offering in 2013.

Gupta will stay on at Twitter, taking on the role of senior vice-president for strategic investments.

Noto was previously a managing director in Goldman's technology, media and telecom investment banking group, where he led Twitter's IPO process. Before that, he served as CFO of the National Football League.

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Stocks rise as surveys show stronger manufacturing

NEW YORK (AP) — A better outlook for global manufacturing pushed the stock market to an all-time high on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed within two points of 17,000 for the first time after separate surveys showed that manufacturing expanded in China and the U.S., the world's two biggest economies. In China, manufacturing grew in June for the first time in six months and in the U.S. the sector notched its 13th straight month of growth.

General Motors rose the most in almost a month. The automaker reported that its U.S. sales increased 1 per cent in June despite a record-setting string of safety recalls. Netflix jumped after analysts at Goldman Sachs raised their outlook on the stock, predicting the company will benefit from its international expansion.

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US manufacturers expanded in June but more slowly

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew in June for the 13th straight month. But the pace of the expansion slowed from May.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its manufacturing index dipped to 55.3 in June from 55.4 in May. Any reading higher than 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

The trade group of purchasing managers said that orders rose at a faster pace last month compared with May. But growth in production and exports slowed. A measure of employment shows that factories added jobs for the 12th straight month; the pace of hiring last month was the same as in May.

Fifteen of 18 manufacturing industries grew in June, led by furniture makers and mineral producers. Textile, chemical, and plastics and rubber manufacturing contracted in June.

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CoreLogic: US home prices rose more slowly in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in May compared with a year earlier, but the gains have slowed.

Data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices increased 8.8 per cent in May compared with 12 months earlier. The pace of gains has slowed as more homes have come onto the market, according to CoreLogic.

On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 1.2 per cent from April to May. But CoreLogic's monthly figures aren't adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as warmer weather, which can affect sales.

Prices increased the most in Western states, including Hawaii, California and Nevada.

Home sales began to stall in the middle of last year after double-digit price increases and higher mortgage rates made real estate less affordable for many people.

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US construction spending up 0.1 per cent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending barely increased in May as gains in spending on non-residential projects such as office buildings and public construction were largely offset by a big drop in home building.

Construction spending edged up 0.1 per cent in May after a much stronger 0.8 per cent April increase, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The back-to-back gain followed a period of weakness in which spending fell in both January and February and was flat in March.

The construction industry has struggled with an unusually severe winter which curtailed building activity in many regions.

Construction activity totalled $958.1 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in May, up 6.6 per cent from a year ago.

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US auto sales surprise with strength in June

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales grew at the fastest pace in eight years in June, surprising the industry and setting it up for a strong second half of the year.

Sales rose 1.2 per cent over last June to 1.4 million cars and trucks, according to Autodata Corp. GM, Toyota, Hyundai and Nissan all saw increases over last June. Honda sales were flat, while sales at Ford and Volkswagen were down.

June's annualized sales rate — which estimates annual sales if they stayed at the same pace every month — was 16.98 million. That was the fastest pace since July 2006 and higher even than May, which also surprised the industry with its strength.

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Ousted American Apparel CEO increases stake

NEW YORK (AP) — The battle for control of clothing chain American Apparel is heating up.

Ousted American Apparel CEO Dov Charney has increased his stake in the clothing chain to nearly 43 per cent as he fights to keep control of the company he founded in 1998. Charney was able to increase his stake through a partnership with financial firm Standard General, which is loaning him the money. But the board is scrambling to make its own moves to keep him out.

Legal experts say the dispute will likely end up in the courts at a tough time for the Los Angeles-based company, which has lost money since 2010. The company, which made its name with American-made goods and provocative advertising, is in a cash squeeze.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 129.47 points, or 0.8 per cent, to end at 16,956.07 points Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 13.09 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 1,973.32. The Nasdaq composite gained 50.47 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 4,458.65.

Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery fell 3 cents to close at $105.34 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 7 cents to close at $112.29 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 0.6 cent to close at $3.037 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.6 cent to close at $4.445 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil rose 0.3 cent to close at $2.978 a gallon.

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