Stocks edge higher…New home sales fall again
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street as investors continue to assess rising inflation and its potential impact on the economic recovery. The modest gains put the S&P 500 just below the record high it set more than a week ago. The benchmark index has so far recovered all its losses from last week, when the Fed’s comments on eventually tapering its support for the economy raised anxiety levels in the markets. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, Crude oil prices rose, helping to send energy companies higher. Bond yields held steady.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new homes fell in May for a second month, dropping a bigger-than-expected 5.9%. The Commerce Department says last month’s decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 769,000. The median price of a new home sold in May rose to $374,400, up 18.1% from a year ago. The report on new home sales followed a report yesterday from the National Association of Realtors that sales of existing homes fell for a fourth straight month in May.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has ruled that the structure of the agency that oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac violates separation of powers principles in the Constitution. The justices today sent the case involving Federal Housing Finance Agency back to a lower court for additional proceedings. That agency oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and was created during the 2008 financial crisis. Shareholders of the two companies had argued that the FHFA’s structure was unconstitutional. They also said the justices should set aside an agreement under which the companies have paid the government billions in compensation for the taxpayer bailout that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received following the 2008 financial crisis. The justices did not go that far.
MADRID (AP) – Spain’s National Court has approved the extradition of detained antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee to the United States, where he is wanted on tax-related criminal charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years. The decision can be appealed and the final extradition will need to be approved by the Spanish Cabinet. Tennessee prosecutors charged 75-year-old McAfee with evading taxes after failing to report income made from promoting cryptocurrencies while he did consultancy work, as well as income from speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary. The entrepreneur was arrested last October at Barcelona’s international airport.
NEW YORK (AP) – Warren Buffett is resigning as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, gave no reason for stepping down from the Gates Foundation, but questions have been raised about the structure of its leadership after reports of Bill Gates’ behavior in the workplace. Buffett’s announcement comes weeks after Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage but would continue to jointly run the foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in the world.