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Business


U.S. Trade Deficit Heads Higher

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) — The U.S. international trade deficit widened sharply November, the U.S. Census Bureau said Friday. After three months of consistent numbers — a $44.9 billion deficit in August, a $44.2 billion deficit in September and a $43.3 billion deficit in October — the the bureau said U.S. exports dropped to $177.8 […]

U.S. Foreclosures Expected To Rise In 2012

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 12 (UPI) — After a big drop in U.S. property foreclosures in 2011 due to industry uncertainty, the tide will likely rise this year, a marketing firm said Thursday. Foreclosures were down one third in the United States last year and, at 1.9 million, were the lowest since 2007, the report issued […]

First-Time Jobless Claims Up By 24,000

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) — Initial unemployment claims rose by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 399,000 for the week ending Jan. 7, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week’s revised figure was 375,000, the department said in a release. At 381,750, the four-week moving average held to less than 400,000 for the ninth […]

Mortgage Rates Head To Record Lows

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) — Average fixed mortgage interest rates set record lows in the week ending Thursday, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said. The record-breaking is beginning to look like a habit, Freddie Mac said, calling it a “trend.” Average mortgage rates set “new all-time record lows for all products covered in the […]

Suze Orman Pushes Signature Prepaid Card

NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (UPI) — U.S. financial giant Bancorp Bank said it has teamed up with financial news personality Suze Orman to offer a prepaid debit card called The Approved Card. Orman is not just pitching the product, she has been given full credit for creating a card she says “is the single most […]

December Sales Gain Is Nominal 0.1 Percent

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) — Retail sales rose 0.1 percent from November to December, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday. Retail sales, including food service sales, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for prices rose to $400.6 billion on sales that were 6.5 percent higher than December 2010, the bureau said in a release. Retail […]

Italy, Others, Face Rating Downgrades

LONDON, Jan. 10 (UPI) — Credit assessment firm Fitch Ratings said Italy’s finances were currently the biggest threat to the euro and that Greece exiting the eurozone was an option. At a conference in London, the head of Fitch’s global sovereign ratings division, David Riley, said Italy lacked a “credible firewall,” to protect the euro […]

Zero Tax Is Normal For Many Corporations

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) — Nearly 70 percent of U.S. corporations were organized as non-taxable businesses as of 2008, IRS records show. The percentage jumped significantly since 1986 when 24 percent of corporations used the “pass-through” tax structure, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. By 2008, 69 percent of businesses were set up to pass […]

Report: Mafia Flourishing In Hard Times

ROME, Jan. 10 (UPI) — A report by Italy’s largest business trade group, Confesercenti, says the Mafia is the country’s largest business and it’s biggest bank. The report, titled SOS Enterprise, says the Mafia has $83 billion in liquidity, ANSA reported Tuesday. The report by the trade group that represents 270,000 businesses says loan sharking […]

Mortgage Activity Rises

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) — The Mortgage Bankers Association said U.S. mortgage activity rose in the week ending Friday, despite slightly higher interest rates on long-term loans. Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages increased from 4.07 percent to 4.11 percent with points falling from 0.53 from 0.41. Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts rose from […]

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