Stocks rally…Mortgage rates drop…Ikea to cut 7,500 jobs
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are making broad gains in afternoon trading on Wall Street after two days of steep losses. Major technology companies including Apple and Microsoft are rising after tumbling over the last few days. Today’s rally also includes retail, energy and industrial companies. Crude oil prices are up 3 percent after they sank to a one-year low yesterday.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term mortgage rates have recorded their biggest drop in nearly four years this week, but remain much higher than they were a year ago. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.81 percent this week, down from 4.94 percent a week earlier. The 30-year rate was still up from 3.92 percent a year ago. The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans fell to 4.24 percent from 4.36 percent a week ago. The rate stood at 3.32 percent a year ago.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea says it is cutting 7,500 jobs worldwide. The announcement comes as Ikea moves to open shops in 30 major city centers to complement its larger stores. Ikea says the job cuts will allow it to focus on its e-commerce platform and become “more convenient and affordable to many more people.”
NEW YORK (AP) – Companies like Target and online mattress company Casper are creating playbooks to pick up market share left behind by defunct or dying retailers. Target CEO Brian Cornell estimates that up to $100 billion in market share is now up for grabs. Casper has teamed up with department stores like Nordstrom to add pop-up shops in areas where former rivals had locations. Kohl’s has mapped out where retailers like Bon-Ton and Sears shuttered stores so it can target those customers with specific ads.
LONDON (AP) – Facebook is appealing a fine imposed by Britain for failing to protect the privacy of its users in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Britain’s Information Commissioner Office leveled the fine after concluding Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by giving app developers access to their information without informed consent.