Private employers stepped up hiring in June and new applications for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week, pointing to improving labor market conditions. However, the trade gap ... more 
Private employers stepped up hiring in June and new applications for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week, pointing to improving labor market conditions. However, the trade gap swelled more than 12 percent to $45 billion from a revised $40.1 billion in April, the biggest month-to-month increase in two years. Stocks opened lower on Wall Street, tracking international weakness despite an upbeat report on hiring in the United States. In early trading, the Standard & Poor?s 500-share index fell 0.3 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq composite was 0.1 percent lower. Beauty products company Avon is selling the jewelry company Silpada back to the company's co-founders and their families for $85 million, a fraction of what it paid for the company three years ago. less 
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Wed, Jul 3, 2013 12:24 PM EDT