Stocks climb…Mortgage rates rise…Aircraft orders drive up durable goods…Fuel prices hurt American Airlines
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are rising in early trading on Wall Street as Facebook leads a big rally for technology companies. The social media network jumped after its recent data privacy scandal didn’t appear to affect its business in the first quarter. Other big technology companies also moved higher. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ford and Visa also rose after they gave strong first-quarter reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term mortgage rates have reached their highest level in more than four years. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 4.58 percent this week from 4.47 percent last week. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.02 percent from 3.94 percent. Rates have risen for the third straight week.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.6 percent in March, but a key category that tracks business investment spending fell for the third month out of the past four. The Commerce Department says the big rise in orders for durable goods was driven by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, which shot up 44.5 percent last month. Excluding the volatile transportation category, orders would have been flat last month. The key category that follows business investment plans edged down 0.1 percent in March after a 0.9 percent increase in February.
DALLAS (AP) – Rising fuel costs are eating into airline profits, dampening expectations for the rest of 2018, and setting the stage for higher fares. American Airlines is blaming higher fuel prices for a 45 percent drop in first-quarter profit, to $186 million. Fuel is the airlines’ second-biggest expense after labor, and American says it was up 40 cents a gallon from a year ago. The world’s biggest airline has cut its forecast of earnings for the year.
DETROIT (AP) – General Motors’ first-quarter net income fell 60 percent, but the company handily beat Wall Street estimates as U.S. sales rose. The Detroit automaker says it made just over $1 billion from January through March, or 77 cents per share. GM says earnings and revenue fell because shipments to dealers dropped as factories were closed to retool for new full-size pickup trucks. GM’s U.S. sales from dealers to buyers rose 3.8 percent.