NEWS SUMMARY: US service company growth slowed

SERVICES SLOW: U.S. service companies grew in June but at the slowest pace in two and a half years, reflecting the weaker economy.

STILL GROWING: The Institute for Supply Management said its index measuring service-sector activity fell to 52.1 last month, down from a May reading of 53.7. Any reading above 50 signifies growth. The report covers roughly 90 percent of the employers, from retail stores and restaurants to health care companies and financial services firms.

HIRING UP: Even though growth slowed in June, those firms increased hiring. An index that measures employment rose in June to 52.3 from 50.8 in May.