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News Summary: Gauge of US economy up 0.2 percent

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SLOW GROWTH: A measure of the U.S. economy intended to signal future activity rose slightly last month, suggesting growth could stay weak. The Conference Board's index of leading indicators increased 0.2 percent in October after a 0.5 percent gain in September. The index is intended to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.

GROWTH SPOTS: The strength came from lower interest rates, a drop in applications for unemployment benefits, and an increase in demand for large manufactured goods. Only four of the 10 indicators that make up the index improved.

WEAK SPOTS: Weak areas included a decline in building permits, a drop in consumer confidence and lower stock prices.

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