Durable goods orders in the U.S. in May were up 3.6% from April, more than economists had expected. The increase could point to "stronger economic growth in the July-September quarter," according to Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics. In addition, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index showed a 12.1% rise in home prices in April from April 2012, and consumer confidence in June was at its highest level -- 81.4 -- in 5.5 years. All are signs of a strengthening economy, say experts.

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