Money & Markets

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage eases to 3.93 percent

WASHINGTON - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week, with the key 30-year loan rate remaining under 4 percent.Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked down to 3.93 percent from 3.94 percent a week earlier. A year ago, ...

Greek prime minister calls elections

ATHENS, Greece - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned Thursday and called early elections, hoping for a new, stronger mandate to implement a three-year bailout program that sparked a rebellion within his radical left party. In a televised address to the nation, Tsipras said his ...

Gap maintains forecast as 2Q profit falls

NEW YORK - Gap is keeping its fiscal-year profit forecast unchanged after further struggles in the second quarter marked by weakness at its namesake and Banana Republic stores that offset rising sales at Old Navy.The San Francisco company also said Thursday its plan to close 175 Gap stores in ...

Subway’s latest challenge: Getting out from Jared’s shadow

NEW YORK - Subway benefited hugely from Jared Fogle's weight loss story. Now the sandwich chain needs to figure out how to prevent him from overshadowing its future.It's not clear how customers will react to Fogle's plans to plead guilty to allegations that he paid for sex acts with minors and ...

European bailout fund approves release of funds for Greece

BERLIN - European bailout fund supervisors on Wednesday approved the release of billions of euros to help rebuild Greece's devastated economy just as a new debt payment looms.The move - a virtual formality - came after Germany's parliament approved the bailout package, along with the assemblies ...

Target is getting its groove back

NEW YORK - Target is on its way back.Shoppers are visiting the company's stores more often and spending more on each trip, the Minneapolis-based discount-store chain said Wednesday. The company raised its annual profit outlook and said its second-quarter net income more than tripled.The upbeat ...

US consumer inflation slowed in July

WASHINGTON - The biggest drop in airline fares in nearly two decades slowed consumer inflation in July following two months of slightly faster gains.The Labor Department said Wednesday that its consumer price index rose 0.1 percent in July following increases of 0.3 percent in June and 0.4 ...

High-tech cars bring Detroit, Silicon Valley face to face

PALO ALTO, California - The office has all the trappings of a high-tech startup. There's a giant beanbag in the foyer and erasable, white board walls for brainstorming. Someone's pet dog lounges happily on the sunny balcony.Welcome to the Palo Alto home of the Ford Motor Co., six miles from the ...

Pay raises, store spruce-ups crimp Wal-Mart’s profit

NEW YORK - Wal-Mart's second-quarter earnings report was a mixed bag: Its investments to overhaul its stores are helping to perk up sales, but they're causing more pain to the bottom line than expected.The world's largest retailer cut its annual earnings outlook Tuesday because its profits are ...

Home Depot bests the crowd in 2Q

NEW YORK - Homes are getting a lot of TLC from their owners of late, which means better sales for businesses like Home Depot.The world's largest home improvement retailer reported second-quarter results on Tuesday that surpassed Wall Street expectations, thanks largely to consumers opening ...

Subway’s Jared to admit to child-porn charges

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana television station is reporting that Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is expected to plead guilty to child-pornography charges. The report on Fox 59 comes six weeks after authorities seized electronics and other items from Fogle's home in Zionsville.

More millennials stuck renting for years before buying home

WASHINGTON - Home ownership, that celebrated hallmark of the American dream, is increasingly on hold for younger Americans.Short of cash, burdened by student debt and unsettled in their careers, young adults are biding time in apartments for longer periods and buying their first homes later in ...

Feds allow Shell to drill for oil in Arctic Ocean off Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The federal government on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell the final permit it needs to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northwest coast for the first time in more than two decades.The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced that it approved the ...

2 Citigroup affiliates paying $179.5M to resolve SEC case

WASHINGTON - Two Citigroup Inc. affiliates have agreed to pay $179.5 million to resolve federal regulators' charges of misleading investors in hedge funds that later collapsed.The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday the settlement with Citigroup Alternative Investments, a ...

QVC owner Liberty buying Zulily in about $2.3 billion deal

NEW YORK - Zulily, which offers flash sales of products like toys and children's clothing geared to young moms, now has a parent.Liberty Interactive Corp. which owns home shopping network QVC, announced Monday that it's buying Zulily in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $2.32 ...

Pet store operator Petco files for new IPO

NEW YORK - Petco plans to go public again almost nine years after two private equity firms bought the pet store operator. For the purpose of calculating a filing fee, the San Diego company said Monday it expects to raise $100 million through an initial public offering.That amount can change.The ...

US homebuilder sentiment improves

WASHINGTON - U.S. homebuilders grew slightly more optimistic about the housing market in August, putting their confidence at levels last seen a decade ago during the debt-fueled housing boom.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday rose this ...

IRS: Computer breach bigger than first thought; 334K victims

WASHINGTON - A computer breach at the IRS in which thieves stole tax information from thousands of taxpayers is much bigger than the agency originally disclosed. An additional 220,000 potential victims had information stolen from an IRS website as part of a sophisticated scheme to use stolen ...

Dallas Fed bank taps Harvard professor as new president

WASHINGTON - A professor and associate dean at the Harvard Business School has been selected as the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The Dallas Fed, one of 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, said Monday that Robert Steven Kaplan will succeed Richard Fisher, who stepped down ...

Indian PM kicks off UAE visit with mosque tour

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - India's prime minister began a two-day tour of the United Arab Emirates with a visit to its largest mosque on Sunday in a gesture of outreach to Muslims ahead of a planned speech to tens of thousands of Indian expatriates and bilateral meetings aimed at ...