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WTO Gives Russia Membership

GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Trade ministers at the World Trade Organization have agreed to allow Russia entrance into the 153-member international trade group. The agreement puts an end to a glaring omission in the WTO, as Russia has become an increasingly important gas and oil exporting nation that has critical political influence in […]

Industrial Production Drops Slightly

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Industrial production fell 0.2 percent in November after rising 0.7 percent in October, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board said. Manufacturing output dropped 0.4 percent, while production at mines rose 0.1 percent in the month. Output at utilities rose 0.2 percent after three consecutive months of declines, the Fed said Wednesday. […]

Former Fannie, Freddie Executives Charged

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) — U.S. finance regulators have charged former executives of the nation’s largest mortgage brokers with misleading investors about their risky mortgages holdings. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the charges in Manhattan against former Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Chief Executive Officer Richard Syron and two other former Freddie Mac executives, […]

Report: U.S. Postal Service Tops Worldwide

LONDON, Dec. 15 (UPI) — The troubled U.S. Postal Service has the highest ranking among universal postal service providers, a British study released Thursday indicates. The Oxford Strategic Consulting review found that the U.S. Postal Service, which is considering cutbacks in delivery service, facilities and personnel to overcome a multibillion dollar debt, was at the […]

First-Time Jobless Claims Down Last Week

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Initial unemployment claims fell 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000 for the week ending Dec. 10, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week’s revised figure was 385,000, the department said in a release. The four-week moving average was 387,750, a drop of 6,500 from the previous week’s revised […]

30-Year Mortgage Rate Ties Record Low

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) — The average fixed mortgage rates are at or near all-time lows, Freddie Mac said Wednesday. The 30-year fixed rate of 3.94 percent matched a record low set Oct. 6, and the 15-year fixed rate of 3.21 percent set a record low, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.’s Primary Mortgage Market […]

Foreclosures Down 3 Percent In November

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 15 (UPI) — Foreclosure filings on U.S. properties fell 3 percent in November from the previous month and 14 percent from November 2010, RealtyTrac said Thursday. The report also indicated one in every 579 U.S. housing units was in foreclosure during the month. “Despite a seasonal slowdown similar to what we’ve seen […]

Labor: Change To Help Home Health Workers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Home healthcare workers in the United States would see changes in wages and overtime protections under new rules put forward by the Obama administration. President Obama and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said the proposed new rule, announced Thursday, would provide minimum wage and overtime protections for nearly 2 million workers […]

Fed Keeps Monetary Policies Unchanged

WASHINGTONS, D.C., Dec. 13 (UPI) — The U.S. Federal Reserve said Tuesday it would keep its federal fund rate and its reinvestment policies intact. The decision to keep the lending rate unchanged was widely expected as the Fed has said it would likely keep its rate at historic lows through the middle of 2013. “Indicators […]

Shippers Brace For Last Minute Rush

DETROIT, Dec. 13 (UPI) — Even Santa Claus might want to brace himself for the Christmas rush this year, U.S. shipping companies suggest. FedEx estimated Monday was a 17-million package day. The Detroit News reported Tuesday. Rival UPS is expecting to handle 26 million items on its busiest day of the year, which the firm […]


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