ON THE REBOUND: The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rebounded in July, rising by 0.4 percent, after having fallen 0.4 percent in June.

BUILDING STRENGTH: The July strength in the index was led by a big rise in applications for building permits and declines in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits. The July increase pushed the index to 95.8, matching the May level which had been the highest reading in four years.

ENCOURAGING SIGNS: Economists believe the index is pointing to continued modest growth in the economy through the rest of this year.