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Market News

European Markets

European markets are called to open flat this morning.

Asian Markets

Asian stocks rose, sending the regional benchmark index to its longest winning-streak since February, on optimism Greece will avoid default and after U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly expanded at a faster pace in June, lessening risk for bank earnings and exports.

US Markets

Stocks ended the first half of the year solidly higher Thursday, as investors put a turbulent six months behind them.

All three major indexes rallied for the fourth day in a row, helped by a strong economic report on business activity in the Midwest and the latest positive developments out of Greece.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 153 points, or 1.3%, led by Intel, Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard. Shares of all three companies rose about 3%.

The S&P 500 rose 13 points, or 1%, and the Nasdaq composite gained 33 points, or 1.2%. First Solar and eBay were among the best performing stocks on both indexes.

All three major indexes reached the mid-year mark on a high note. The Dow is up more than 7% while the S&P and Nasdaq are up 5%.

Meanwhile, Wall Street’ most widely cited measure of volatility and fear, the VIX, has dropped nearly 7% during the first six months of the year.

Events this week

Friday – The ISM’ manufacturing index comes out at 10 a.m. ET, with economists looking for a reading of 51.1 versus May’ reading of 53.5..

Investors will also get May construction spending figures from the Commerce Department as well as the final read on University of Michigan’ May consumer sentiment survey.

The major auto makers such as General Motors, Toyota, and Ford are scheduled to report their May sales figures starting at around 11 a.m. ET.