NEW YORK, NY (CNN) - CNN Money's Maribel Aber has the latest business and financial news for Monday, June 30.
Home sales and valuations were up in May, while the average price was down slightly compared to a year ago, according to the most recent numbers from the Arkansas Realtors Association. The May report, which only includes properties sold by members of ARA, shows home sales were up 5.4 percent compared to the same month in 2013. There were 2,666 homes sold in this year compared to 2,521 in May 2013. Home valuations were up more than $19 million from $407 million a year ago.
Independence Day is around the corner, and trading volume is expected to be light this week as investors get ready to ditch their stock charts for their barbeques. While the all-important monthly jobs report comes out on Thursday (a day earlier than usual because of the three-day weekend), there's not much else on the economic or earnings calendars to move the markets. But as the first half of the year comes to a close this week, we here at CNNMoney are in a reflective mood. After all, you can't know where you're going until you know where you've been.
The Americans may be an underdog in the World Cup, but the U.S. stock market has been the best bet for investors since the global soccer tournament kicked off. The S&P 500 has risen 1.4% since the World Cup started on June 12, making it the best performer among the 16 countries that survived the first round of play. Granted, there's no real connection between soccer and stocks. But in the spirit of a little friendly competition, here's how the World Cup nations stack up in terms of stock market performance since the games started.
Big corporate sponsors are losing their appetite for infamous Uruguayan soccer striker Luis Suarez after he bit a player during a World Cup match in Brazil. Suarez will play no further part in the World Cup after FIFA suspended him for four months from any football activity. Online betting company 888poker announced it was dropping Suarez "with immediate effect" just weeks after signing him up as a global brand ambassador. The Liverpool star, who has bitten players three times in his career, has been given the most severe punishment ever handed out at a World Cup for an offense committed on the field of play.