Stocks waver … Pence criticizes China … Mortgage rates rise … UN agencies targeted
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks have been wavering between small gains and losses on Wall Street as solid profit and forecasts from several technology companies offset a mixed batch of earnings from the rest of the market. Technology stocks did the most to pull the market higher, while a smattering of retailers helped inject more confidence into the market. On the down side, health care stocks fared the worst, and Twitter plunged on weak financial results, pushing communication companies lower
WASHINGTON (AP) – As the Trump administration and the Chinese government try to negotiate a trade deal, Vice President Mike Pence is criticizing China’s record on trade and human rights. At a speech in Washington, Pence sounded an alarm about China’s influence campaigns and its crackdown on free speech and other rights in Hong Kong. He also took a swipe at the NBA, saying it was acting like a “wholly owned subsidiary” of Beijing for failing to stand up to its criticism of the Houston Rockets general manager for a tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term mortgage rates rose slightly this week. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.75%, the highest point in 12 weeks. However, they remain far below their levels of a year ago. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage moved up to 3.18%.
GEYSERVILLE, Calif. (AP) – Hundreds of people have been forced to flee after Northern California a wildfire exploded in size amid dangerous winds that prompted utilities throughout the state to impose electrical blackouts to prevent fires. Authorities ordered the entire community of Geyserville to evacuate after the fire in the Sonoma County wine region north of San Francisco grew to more than 15 square miles. The town has about 900 residents. Strong, dry winds with gusts of up to 70 mph have affected much of the state.
UNDATED (AP) – A cybersecurity firm says it has discovered an online espionage campaign active for the past 10 months that has targeted U.N. relief agencies and other non-governmental groups including the International Red Cross. Researchers say think tanks including the Heritage Foundation and the East-West Center were also targeted. It’s not known who is behind the campaign though indications are that members of international community in North Korea may have been targeted.