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U.S. private employers maintained a steady pace of hiring in August and contracts to buy previously owned homes surged in July, suggesting the economy was regaining sufficient momentum for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year. Other data on Wednesday showed a sharp moderation in factory activity in the Midwest this month amid shrinking order books, indicating the manufacturing sector continued to be hobbled by the residual effects of a strong dollar and oil price slump. "This should give the Fed confidence that the economy is strong enough to generate new employment and importantly, that the economy has enough forward momentum to withstand an interest rate hike," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Senators allied with President Dilma Rousseff sought Wednesday to minimize damage ahead of an almost-certain decision to oust her with a successful request to break up the vote into two questions.