June existing home sales rise 3.6 percent
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Thursday announced that sales of existing homes in the U.S. rose for the third consecutive month in June, suggesting that the troubled housing market may be hitting bottom, private data showed Thursday. According to the NAR, existing home sales rose to an annualized rate of 4.89 million units which is above the 4.84 million units analysts were expecting. This is fueling hopes that housing and the overall economy is showing signs of recovery.

Obama proposes transaction fees for risky investments
President Barack Obama said Wednesday in a prime-time news conference that for the first time the government in considering imposing new fees against financial companies engaging in what he termed far-out transactions, in order to protect taxpayers from future bailouts.

Fifth Third banks posts 2Q profit
Fifth Third Bancorp reported a second quarter profit on Thursday following the sale of a majority stake in its credit card processing unit attracting a gain of $1.1 billion. Net income available to shareholders of the Cincinnati-based lender was $856 million, or $1.15 per share, versus a loss of $2.18 billion, or $3.78, a year earlier. The sale helped the bank overcome its mounting losses from its problem loans in Florida.