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This Week: UnitedHealth and Microsoft earns, housing starts

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: IN GOOD HEALTH UnitedHealth Group serves up its second-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Wall Street expects the nation's largest health insurer will report that its earnings and revenue increased from a year earlier. Health insurance is still UnitedHealth's biggest revenue generator, but the company has also been growing its pharmacy benefits management business and its line of clinics and urgent care centers.

IN A BUILDING MOOD A solid job market has helped boost demand for housing, leading to a ramp-up in new-home construction. U.S. housing starts jumped 5 percent in May from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.35 million, the strongest pace since July 2007. All told, housing starts have risen 11 percent so far this year. Did the trend continue in June? Find out Wednesday, when the Commerce Department releases its latest home construction data.

Housing starts, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate: Jan. 1,334,000 Feb. 1,290,000 March 1,327,000 April 1,286,000 May 1,350,000 June (est.) 1,320,000 Source: FactSet STRONG FINISH? Wall Street expects Microsoft capped its latest fiscal year with another solid quarter.

Financial analysts predict the software giant will report Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue increased from a year earlier. Strong sales of Microsoft's Office 365 suite of workplace software and other cloud services helped the company deliver three consecutive quarters of improved earnings heading into the April-June quarter.

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