Consumer spending rises in June
Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in June, exceeding analyst forecasts the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The increase could be attributed to consumers spending more on increasingly expensive staples, such as gasoline. After adjusting for inflation, spending fell by 0.1 percent.

Pending home sales rise for the fifth straight month
Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in June for a fifth straight month, another encouraging sign of life for the struggling housing market, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. The higher than expected rise was boosted by low interest rates and bargain home prices.

General Electric pays $50 million penalty for accounting fraud
General Electric Co. has paid a $50 million penalty to settle government charges that its accounting procedures violated provisions of U.S. securities laws and increased its reported earnings to mislead investors in its financial statements, federal regulators said Tuesday. GE has agreed to pay a $50 million penalty and neither admitted nor denied the accusations, to settle the SEC's civil suit.