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Mixed start in New York as home sales data cheers

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Shares in New York were muted as the new trading week began with positive home sales data buoying confidence among some investors.

The  S&P500 is heading for the longest run of quaterly gains sinc before the Millenium.

House purchase deals signed in May jumped the most in more than four years - underscoring hopes of renewed growth in the housing market and wider economic sentiment. 

Also this week will be the always closely followed non-farm payroll numbers due out on Thursday (July 3) - a further clue as to how the economy stateside is doing.

The benchmark Dow is down eight after making gains  earlier, while Nasdaq is up eight points at 4,406. The broader based S&P 500 is up one to 1,962.

In corporate news, Mannkind (NASDAQ:MNKD) jumped 11% after it received FDA approval for its inhalable diabetes treatment Afrezza, coming three years after the FDA first asked for additional studies on the drug's effects. 

American Apparel fell 19% after the firm rejected a move by the fired chief executive Dov Charney to hold an investors meeting as the board adopted a plan to preventing him from gaining control of the retailer.

Meanwhile, in London, FTSE100 was down over 11, with the biggest laggard being  easyJet (LON:EZJ), whose shares noisedived 6.17%.

It comes after a downgrade from broker heavyweight Merrill Lynch, moving the rating on the low-cost carrier to 'neutral' from 'underperform'.

Drinks firm Diageo (LON: DGE) was among the  biggest gainers, up 1.33%, with the M&A theme back in focus - as the market chatted that the company may merge with SABMiller.

Elsewhere, figures showed that approvals from banks to borrowers fell to an 11 month low last month (May).

Tighter rules introduced in April mean more stringent affordability tests are carried out on potential borrowers.

In contrast, however, the actual amount of money lent for home loans was at the most for six years, due to the rising cost of property.

Also on the macro front, heavyweight investment bank Goldman Sachs weighed in as the week began, saying growth in UK GDP should accelerate this year, although the positive vibe didnlt seem to do much for the market.

It reckons it will expand at a 3.4% pace this year, followed by another increase of 3% in 2015.

Goldman had previously been expecting GDP to rise by 3% and 2.7% over the two years.

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