News In Brief

us construction spending rebounded slightly in June, rising 0.5 percent percent, after falling two straight months. The Commerce Department said construction outlays rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $699.4 billion, following drops of 1.4 percent in both May and April.

Vehicle sales in Japan dropped 13.9 percent in July from the same month last year - the 28th straight month of decline. Sales of new cars, trucks and buses totaled 372,334 vehicles , the Japan Automobile Dealers' Association said. Although the Japanese economy emerged from a year-and-a-half-long recession in the first quarter of 1999, it is still so feeble and consumer spending is still so weak that auto sales have not picked up.

Fidelity National Financial said it would buy Chicago Title Corp. in a $1.2-billion deal that would more than double the size of Irvine, Calif.-based Fidelity National and make it America's largest title-insurance company. The $52-a-share offer for Chicago Title's shares represented a 42-percent premium on the closing price of $36.69 on Thursday, the day before the firms disclosed they were in merger talks.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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