Stocks rally…Mortgage rates edge up…Trump to talk about prescription drug prices
NEW YORK (AP) – Strong results from major companies including Microsoft, Visa and Comcast are sending stocks higher on Wall Street. Tesla soared after reporting its biggest-ever profit, and appliance maker Whirlpool also climbed. The gains are a respite from three weeks of extremely volatile trading marked by steep losses.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term mortgage rates are slightly higher this week amid continued anxiety in financial markets as interest rates rise. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked up to an average 4.86 percent from 4.85 percent last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94 percent. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.29 percent this week from 4.26 percent last week.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump plans to make an announcement today on the cost of prescription drugs during a visit to the Department of Health and Human Services. Before that visit, the department released a report that finds U.S. prices for the top drugs administered in doctor’s offices are nearly twice as high as in foreign countries. Many are cancer drugs that Medicare pays for directly.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Trump administration is announcing plans to come up with a strategy for supporting the development of next-generation wireless networks known as “5G.” The administration isn’t calling for any specific action other than reports from various agencies due in about six months, and the development of the strategy itself in about nine months. Big wireless telecoms such as AT&T and Verizon are spending billions creating their own 5G networks, to support far more high-speed mobile video than current networks and a growing number of smart devices in homes.
NEW YORK (AP) – Since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Sears has been trying to persuade suppliers to keep shipping it merchandise by touting the $300 million in financing it has secured so that its business can continue operating through the holidays. But a growing number of manufacturers who themselves got hurt or watched others get burned by Toys R Us’ quick demise are still nervous. Their reluctance to work with the Sears heading into the holiday shopping season could be a major blow to its survival, which depends on a constant flow of merchandise.