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Higher Rates Slow Mortgage Activity

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Mortgage Bankers Association said U.S. mortgage activity fell 7.4 percent in the week ending Friday, as interest rates rose. Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages climbed from 4.39 percent to 4.49 percent with average points rising from 0.43 to 0.47. Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts rose from 3.36 percent to […]

U.S. Retail Gets Another Boost From Weather

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. retail sales rose 0.9 percent in the week ending Saturday with clothing and department stores showing strong gains, a trade association said. The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales rose 0.9 percent from the previous week and 3.3 percent from the same week of 2011. Factory outlet stores also showed […]

Existing Home Sales Down Month-To-Month

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Existing U.S. home sales fell 0.9 percent in February month-to-month, but rose over the past 12 months, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The trade group said sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops rose 8.8 percent from a year earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million […]

Clinton Touts Steps To Isolate Iran

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday 11 countries have become the first to “significantly reduce” imports of oil from Iran. “I am pleased to announce that an initial group of 11 countries has significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran,” she said. Clinton said Belgium, the Czech […]

India Now World’s Leading Arms Importer

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (UPI) — Sweden’s International Peace Research Institute, which tracks the global arms trade, reports that India is the world’s leading arms importer. SIPRI’s latest report notes that for the period 2007-11, India accounted for 10 percent of global arms imports. While the bulk of India’s foreign weapons came from the Russian Federation, including […]

Housing Starts Slide, But Permits Are Up

WASHINGTON (UPI) — New home construction starts in the United States fell 1.1 percent January to February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Housing starts dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000, compared with a upwardly revised figure for January of 706,000. The rate of single-family housing starts in the month was 457,000, which […]

Poll: Alternative Energy Loses Support

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Support for development of fuel sources such as wind and solar power has diminished in the United States during the past year, a survey found. The March 7-11 poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center for People & the Press, found 52 percent of those responding indicated support for alternative fuel was […]

UPS Buying TNT Express For $6.77 Billion

ATLANTA (UPI) — United Parcel Service Inc. has agreed to buy European rival TNT Express NV for $6.77 billion in an all-cash offer, the firms announced Monday. The deal for the Dutch logistics company will extend the presence of Atlanta’s UPS in China and in Latin America. It will also create a mega-firm with $60 […]

TaxMasters Files For Bankruptcy

HOUSTON (UPI) — Nationally advertised income tax consulting firm TaxMasters Inc., which is under suspicion of fraud in Texas, has filed for bankruptcy, court papers show. The company, which is based in Houston, is the defendant in a multi-count civil case filed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot. Abbott has charged the firm with misleading […]

Google Pledges To Help With Privacy Probe

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (UPI) — Internet giant Google said it would cooperate with U.S. and European regulators investigating whether it violated privacy laws. Google has already admitted it did an end run around privacy settings on Apple’s Safari Web browser so it could use a “+1″ button on some of its ads that would allow […]


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