Stocks mostly higher…Mortgage rates fall…Relief from robocalls?
NEW YORK (AP) -Stocks are mostly higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street as investors wait for developments in U.S. trade talks with Mexico. Energy companies and makers of household products led the gainers while manufacturers were the steepest decliners. Occidental Petroleum rose 2.7% while Exxon gained 1.6%. Kansas City Southern slipped 1.7%. The railroad company gets nearly half its revenue from Mexico.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s escalating tariffs on imports to the United States have begun to amount to serious money – and potentially to imperil one of the most resilient economies in American history. Until now, the economy has largely shrugged off damage from Trump’s trade wars. Even as the self-proclaimed Tariff Man piled import taxes on everything from Turkish steel to Canadian aluminum to Chinese burglar alarms, the job market has remained sturdy, with unemployment at 3.6, its lowest point in a half-century
WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term mortgage rates fell for the sixth consecutive week, with the key 30-year loan average running below 4% and reached its lowest point since September 2017. The declining rates have been a boon to potential purchasers in the spring home buying season, and the number of homeowners seizing the opportunity to refinance mortgages jumped this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 3.82% down from 3.99% last week.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Federal authorities will conduct forensic analysis of the electronic poll book software from a company targeted by Russian military hackers. The Department of Homeland Security said that it will analyze laptops used to check in voters in heavily Democratic Durham County, North Carolina to determine if tampering led to malfunctions that forced officials to issue paper ballots and extend voting hours. State election officials had renewed their long-dormant request for the forensic exam based on the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian election interference.
NEW YORK (AP) – Federal regulators voted today to give phone companies the right to block unwanted calls without getting customers’ permission first. The Federal Communications Commission’s move could make call-blocking widespread and help consumers dodge annoying robocalls. One caveat: Phone companies don’t actually have to do anything, and they could start charging you if they do – just as they now charge for some caller ID features and other extras. The FCC expects phone companies to offer these tools for free, but it doesn’t require them to.