Stocks recover from shaky start…Powell repeats pledge to be ‘patient’ with rate hikes…Mortgage rates dip
NEW YORK (AP) – After a shaky start, stock indexes are moving higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Gains by industrial stocks and banks are offsetting losses elsewhere in the market, particularly among retailers. Retailers sank after Macy’s said its holiday sales were worse than expected, and airlines slumped after American gave a disappointing revenue forecast.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the central bank has the ability to be “patient” in determining when to hike interest rates. Speaking to an audience in Washington, Powell delivered the same reassuring message of patience that bolstered markets last Friday. Powell also reiterated that the sharp attacks President Donald Trump has made criticizing the Fed’s four rate hikes last year were not having any impact on Fed decisions.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term mortgage rates continued to fall this week, reaching their lowest levels in nine months. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 4.45 percent this week from 4.51 percent last week. That’s still far more than a year ago, when the 30-year rate averaged 3.99 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.89 percent from 3.99 percent last week.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Fiat Chrysler will pay a $305 million fine to the U.S. government over emissions cheating allegations. The settlement was announced today by the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. Authorities say more than 100,00 vehicles were equipped with diesel engines programmed to run pollution controls during lab tests that would turn off under certain conditions on the road. The settlement requires the company to start a recall to repair the Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks made between 2014 and 2016.
BERLIN (AP) – A German court has ordered Amazon to stop taking orders from customers using wireless-enabled buttons because they breach e-commerce rules. The Munich regional court ruled today that Amazon’s Dash buttons fail to provide customers with necessary information, such as the price of the product they are purchasing. Amazon allows customers to set up the buttons to buy specific household products and food with a single press. But the court found that Amazon reserves the right to change aspects of the order, such as price, delivery cost and even product brand.