New U.S. economic data showed sales of existing homes at a 3½-year high in May and stronger June manufacturing performance in the key mid-Atlantic region. But, on the downside, there was a slight uptick in applications for unemployment benefits last week. In all, the latest figures indicate that "the drag from tighter fiscal policy is starting to dissipate. We have passed the worst of the fiscal-induced slowdown," commented Millan Mulraine, a TD Securities senior economist in New York.

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