News In Brief

Trading on Wall Street resumes today, following the year's steepest weekly decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average - and just as a rapid-fire series of important new reports on US economic health is to be released. Due out today is the index of manufacturing activity for May, to be followed tomorrow and Thursday by the measures of new-home sales and factory orders for April. The closely watched report on nationwide employment in May - other than in the farming sector - is due Friday. The Dow closed last Friday at 10559.74, down 269.54 points for the week.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin waited for word on the awarding of $3.5 billion in contracts to build fighter and passenger jets for Israel. At least one of the announcements - on Lockheed's F-16 or Boeing's longer-range F-15 - was expected by today. Boeing also is in competition with Europe's Airbus Industrie for as many as 10 new mid-size planes for the Israeli national carrier, El Al.

Two of the world's leading automakers, Toyota and Germany's Volkswagen, are exploring "cooperation projects in technical areas," the latter confirmed. But VW chairman Ferdinand Piech told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag it was premature to say the talks might lead to a merger.

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