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Consumer Confidence Slid In May

NEW YORK (UPI) — Consumer confidence in the United States dropped for the second consecutive month in May, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The index that assigns 1985 a base value of 100 fell from 68.7 to 64.9, the Conference Board said. The monthly Consumer Confidence Index is based on a survey of 5,000 households. […]

Home Prices Retreat In 8 Of 20 Cities

NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. home prices fell in eight of 20 cities in the closely-watched monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller report in March, the firm said. A month earlier, in February, prices fell in 16 of 20 cities. The index for March shows declines in half that number, a silver lining in a report that […]

USPS Offers Buyouts To 45,000 Mail Handlers

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Postal Service, seeking to reduce staff and cut costs, said it is offering $15,000 buyouts to 45,000 mail handlers. The mail handlers, who work at post offices and mail-processing centers, sort mail, transport it within facilities and load and unload trucks. The buyouts, to be pro-rated for part-time staff, will […]

Groupon Starts Refund Program

CHICAGO (UPI) — U.S. online deal-making firm Groupon said subscribers had until July 6 to file for refunds prompted by a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed Groupon was not lawfully disclosing information on deals, including expiration dates and other restrictions, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday. The firm is offering refunds on Groupons purchased between Nov. […]

Credit Rating Relies On U.S. Plan

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Officials at credit rating services said the United Stated needed a credible plan to avoid another downgrade of the country’s credit rating. The odds of the country coming up with a solid policy, even a temporary one, in time, are not good, some analysts say. Nevertheless, “”We’d have to assess the actual […]

Mortgage Rates Move Lower

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Average mortgage rates for long-term, fixed-rate loans keep falling to record lows, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday. Average rates for 30-year contracts dropped from 3.79 percent to 3.78 percent with 0.8 points, a record low. Thirty-year mortgage rates averaged 4.6 percent the same week of 2011. Average rates on […]

U.S. Banks In Quarter Earned $35.3 Billion

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. banks earned $35.3 billion in profits in the first three months of the year, a federal regulator said. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said profits rose by $6.6 billion from the first quarter of 2011, a 22.9 percent rise. Average return on assets rose above 1 percent for only the second […]

Homeowners ‘Underwater’ By $1.2 Trillion

SEATTLE (UPI) — U.S. homeowners owed $1.2 trillion more on their homes than the homes were worth at the end of the first quarter, real estate Web site Zillow said Thursday. The company said 31.4 percent of U.S. homeowners were “underwater,” which is the trade term describing homes for which the value has fallen below […]

Times-Picayune To Cut Print Production

NEW YORK (UPI) — Advance Publications said its flagship newspaper, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, would cut its print schedule to three days a week this fall. The company, which is based in New York, said it would also scale back the production schedule for its newspapers in three cities in Alabama: Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville, […]

U.S. Housing Market Senses A Turnaround

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) — Selling homes at desperately low prices is a fading phenomenon in some U.S. locations, industry observers said. The National Association of Realtors said April’s inventory of homes on the market was down to a 6.6-month supply. A year earlier in April, there was a 9.1-month supply of homes for sale on […]


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