WASHINGTON, July 22- U.S. home resales rose in June to their fastest pace in eight months, a signal that the housing market was pulling out of a slump. The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales increased 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 5.04 million units. "Things are flying pretty fast," said Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist.» Read More
BRISBANE, Calif.-- Women's clothing company Bebe says revenue at stores open at least a year fell 8.7 percent in its most recent quarter, which included the key back-to-school shopping season.
BEIRUT-- A senior Lebanese security official says at least three explosions have ripped through a house in a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon. The official says the cause of Wednesday's blasts near the city of Baalbek was not immediately clear, and that there were no reports of any casualties. Baalbek is located in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon.
NEW YORK-- A Baird analyst on Wednesday reaffirmed his "Buy" rating for Titan Machinery Inc., saying that while the third quarter could prove to be tough, he's confident that the company is on track to meet its long-term profit expectations.
LONDON-- The British government's rail policy was thrown into chaos Wednesday after it canceled a disputed contract to run one of the country's busiest lines following the discovery of "unacceptable mistakes" in the way it awarded the franchise.
TEHRAN, Iran-- Police threatened merchants who closed their shops in Tehran's main bazaar and launched crackdowns on sidewalk money changers on Wednesday as part of a push to halt the plunge of Iran's currency, which has shed more than a third its value in less than a week.
NEW YORK-- U.S. stock futures are up slightly as investors await a run of economic reports and after Spain's prime minister indicated his cash-strapped country would not request a bailout imminently. Dow futures are up 2 points to 13,413. The broader S&P 500 futures are up less than a point to 1,441. Nasdaq futures are up 3 points at 2,799..
HELSINKI-- Nokia Corp. says it plans to sell its headquarters in Finland as part of a cost-cutting program. Spokeswoman Maija Taimi says selling the glass and steel structure known as "Nokia House" near Helsinki is one of the options the struggling cellphone maker is considering as it disposes of noncore real estate holdings.
VILNIUS, Lithuania-- Lithuania's government said Wednesday it planned to file a 1.45 billion claim against Russia's Gazprom, alleging that the world's largest natural gas company has hiked prices unfairly.
LISBON, Portugal-- Bailed-out Portugal has lowered the financial hurdle it must clear next year when a hefty debt repayment falls due by exchanging bonds worth 3.76 billion for longer-term bills. That reduces the debt Portugal will have to cover in September to just under 6 billion, giving it some breathing space as it struggles to restore market confidence.
Taiwan's EVA Airways recently announced it will begin Yangon- Bangkok- Taipei flights on Oct. 19. Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Nweni Win Kyaw told The Associated Press several other airlines have recently announced direct flights to Yangon, including Korean Air, Japan's ANA and Germany's Condor.
Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets raised DineEquity Inc.' s rating to "Buy" from "Neutral." Kalinowski also says that Wall Street will likely find DineEquity easier to understand once it closes on the sale of some Applebee's locations. DineEquity shares closed at $56.53 on Tuesday.
HONG KONG-- When two boats filled with people collided on Hong Kong's busy waterways, the impact knocked a hole in one vessel's engine room and the water poured in too fast to stop the boat from sinking. Passengers struggled to find life vests and dozens drowned in the turbulent waters.
MADRID-- Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says a `bad bank' being set up to allow lenders to offload bad investments will be 55 percent privately-owned. De Guindos defended Spain's banks, saying an independent audit last week showed "70 percent of the financial sector is in condition to handle a severely stressed situation."
WASHINGTON-- U.S. service companies, which employ nearly 90 percent of the workforce, likely grew more slowly in September than August. Economists expect the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index dipped to 53.5 in September, from 53.7 in August, according to a survey of economists by FactSet.
LONDON-- Markets were subdued Wednesday as investors awaited a run of U.S. economic figures and after Spain's prime minister indicated his cash-strapped country would not request a bailout imminently.
TEHRAN, Iran-- Tehran's main bazaar has been closed as authorities tighten controls trying to halt the fall of Iran's currency after it hit a record low. The semiofficial Mehr news agency says the bazaar _ the traditional commercial hub in Iran's capital _ was closed for security reasons on Wednesday.
The U.S. Labor Department will release employment data for September on Friday. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent to 5,801.45. Germany's DAX was less than 0.1 percent lower at 7,300.12 and France's CAC-40 lost 0.3 percent to 3,404.64.