Bernanke boost...Retailers report sales gains...Government reports a surplus in June

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's words yesterday that the central bank intends to continue efforts to support the economy have cheered investors. The Dow and the S&P 500 surged to all-time highs today. The bluechip index gained 169 points, finishing at 15,460.92. The S&P gained 22 to 1,675. The Nasdaq also saw strong gains, rising 57 and a-half points to 3,578.30.

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are reporting strong sales gains in June. A preliminary tally by the International Council of Shopping Centers finds revenue rose 4.1 percent last month. It had expected an increase of 3 to 3.5 percent. The data offers positive signs for the back-to-school season, which is the second-biggest shopping period behind the winter holidays.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government reported a surplus in June. The extra $116.5 billion was due in part to dividend payments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The mortgage giants were taken over by the government at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 and are now repaying taxpayers for the support they received. The surplus keeps the nation on track for its lowest annual deficit in five years.

BOSTON (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren is trying to make good on a key campaign pledge to protect consumers from Wall Street gambles. The Massachusetts Democrat and three other senators have introduced a modern version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act. The bill would separate traditional banks that have savings and checking accounts and are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from riskier financial institutions that offer services such as investment banking, hedge funds and private equity activities.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint is introducing a new wireless plan that guarantees subscribers unlimited voice, text and data plans. The "Sprint Unlimited Guarantee" offers unlimited data for $30 a month on smartphones and $10 per month on traditional phones. Voice and text cost $50 for the first line and less for additional phone lines. Now under the control of Japanese investment firm SoftBank, Sprint is the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, but it trying to differentiate its service from rivals AT&T and Verizon, who have both ditched unlimited data offers.

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