N.Y. casino vote

From our wire services

New York State lawmakers are expected to vote as early as today to authorize Las Vegas-style resort casinos in three upstate areas: the Catskills-Hudson Valley region, the Southern Tier near Binghamton and the Albany-Saratoga Springs corridor. The New York City area would be off limits to casinos for seven years to give the upstate resorts time to build up business.

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Forecast sluggish

A measure of the U.S. economy's future health improved only slightly in May. The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators increased 0.1 percent last month to a reading of 95.2. The index is intended to signal economic conditions three to six months out.

Jobless claims rise

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 18,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 354,000. The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week average increased by 2,500 to 348,250.

China factories slow

Manufacturing in China contracted this month at a faster pace as demand weakened, according to a private survey, adding to fears about a fragile recovery in the world's second-biggest economy. HSBC said its monthly purchasing managers index fell to a nine-month low of 48.3 in June. Numbers below 50 indicate a contraction.

Mortgage rates

U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, with the average on the 30-year fixed loan remaining just under 4 percent. But rates likely will surge next week now that Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve is likely to reduce its bond purchases later this year.

U.S.-EU trade talks

A U.S. official said there is no reason to keep the movie and television industry out of upcoming trans-Atlantic free-trade negotiations with the European Union, despite France saying that sector should be excluded. U.S. Ambassador to the EU William E. Kennard also said his country has not tried to keep any sector out of the negotiations with the 27-nation EU.

Oil price plunges

Federal Reserve comments on reducing stimulus caused oil to have its biggest one-day price drop since November, falling $2.84, or 2.9 percent, to finish at $95.40 a barrel in New York. Gasoline futures fell more than 3 percent.

La. win increases

Sixteen of 18 state-regulated casinos in Louisiana won more money in May than in April. But four riverboats and a racetrack in west Louisiana won less than in the previous May. Overall, gamblers lost $214.2 million - $17.8 million more than in April and $10 million more than May 2012.

France warns Google

France is giving Google three months to be more upfront about data it collects from users or be fined. Other European countries aren't far behind. Now, it's up to Google to decide whether the relatively small fines are incentive enough to rethink its privacy rules.

Video on Facebook

Facebook is adding video to its photo-sharing app Instagram, following Twitter's growing video-sharing app, Vine. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said users will be able to record and share 15-second clips, and apply filters to make them black and white or different hues.

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