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Foreclosures 31 Percent Of U.S. Home Sales

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 25 (UPI) — Foreclosure sales as a percentage of U.S. home sales dropped in the second quarter compared to the first, online marketplace RealtyTrac said Thursday. Homes listed in some stage of foreclosure or fully bank owned made up 31 percent of all residential U.S. home sales, down from 36 percent in […]

Moody’s Lowers Japan’s Rating

TOKYO, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Moody’s rating agency Wednesday lowered Japan’s debt rating a notch to Aa3 from Aa2, citing its deficits and government debt, but said the outlook is stable. In its announcement, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said the downgrade “is prompted by large budget deficits and the build-up in Japanese government debt since […]

Durable Goods Orders Beat Expectations

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) — U.S. durable goods orders jumped 4 percent in July, covering economists’ expectations and then some, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists expected new orders for goods that last three years or more to rise 2.1 percent. However, commerce said orders rose by $7.7 billion for all categories of durable goods […]

Home Prices, Up In June, Down In Quarter

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) — A federal agency said Wednesday U.S. home prices fell 0.6 percent in the second quarter, but rose in June compared to May. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which tracks prices for homes with mortgages backed by either the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., said […]

Mortgage Activity Down Slightly

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) — The Mortgage Bankers Association said U.S. mortgage activity fell in the week ending Friday as interest rates rose. Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 4.32 percent to 4.39 percent with points rising from 0.86 to 0.88. Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts rose from 3.47 percent to 3.56 percent […]

USPS Study Says Slower Deliveries Might Work

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) — A study says the U.S. Postal Service could save a bundle if it just took its time delivering first class and Priority Mail. Officials from the mail service said new schedules could be announced just after Labor Day, based on a study that said the USPS could save $1.5 billion […]

Report: China Trade Balance Likely In 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 23 (UPI) — China’s trade surplus may drop to $100 billion this year from last year’s $183 billion as imports rise and exports weaken, a trade expert said. There could even be a trade balance in 2012, China Daily reported Tuesday, quoting Wei Jianguo, secretary-general of the think tank China Center for International […]

Ex-Moody’s Exec: Ratings Agencies Corrupt

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) — U.S. credit-ratings agencies have conflicts of interest because they’re paid by firms they’re supposed to rate neutrally, an ex-Moody’s Corp. executive said. “This conflict of interest permeates all levels of employment, from entry-level analyst to the chairman and chief executive officer of Moody’s Corp.,” William Harrington, a former Moody’s Investors […]

Retail Sees Slight Drop Week-To-Week

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Retail sales slid 1 percent in the week ending last Saturday with traffic down at U.S. discount stores, a trade group said Tuesday. The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales fell week-to-week, but rose 3 percent compared to the same week a year earlier. Apparel stores showed some “improvement […]

UBS Joins Bank Trend Of Layoffs

ZURICH, Switzerland, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Swiss bank UBS said a cost-trimming effort would result in the loss of 3,500 jobs in the next 30 months. The bank said it would take on a one-time charge of about $698 million connected to the layoffs, which it would put on its books this year, The New […]

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