Aug 18, 2014 10:40 AM

Wall Street higher ... US homebuilder confidence rises in August ... GM sued over alleged heated seat burn

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday. At 10:35 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 index climbed 14 points, to 1,969. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 146 points, to 16,809. And the Nasdaq composite climbed 34 points, to 4,499.

UNDATED (AP) U.S. homebuilders are feeling more confident in their sales prospects headed into next year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose this month to 55, up two points from a revised reading of 53 in July. The latest reading is the highest since January, when it was 56. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. Sales of new homes are running behind last year's pace.

YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) A woman is suing General Motors, after she says she sustained third-degree burns from a heated seat in a Chevy Suburban. Emma Verrill filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine, saying she's now paralyzed from the waist down and can't feel hot and cold in her lower body. She's seeking unspecified damages. GM denies the seat heater was defective or dangerous, and says it did not cause Verrill's injury.

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) There's now a bidding war for Family Dollar store. Dollar General is offering about $9.7 billion for the discounter in an effort to trump Dollar Tree's bid, which is about 3 percent less. Last month, Dollar Tree made an $8.5 billion bid for Family Dollar, and Dollar General's board unanimously approved the deal.

WASHINGTON (AP) A new report says the average cost of raising a child is a little more than $245,000, and that does not include college and the costs of being pregnant. The Agriculture Department's new "Expenditures on Children and Families" report says the average family will spend $245,340 on food, housing, childcare and education on a child born in 2013. In factoring in projected inflation, that number comes to about $304,480. Families living in the Northeast pay a little more.


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