Business Highlights

  • Article by: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 4:50 PM

___

Downside of low US mortgage rates? Less selling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Would-be home sellers across the country are grappling with a once-in-a-lifetime problem: They have mortgage rates so absurdly low it would hurt them financially to sell.

Doing so would mean giving up an irresistible rate in exchange for a new mortgage carrying a rate up to a percentage point higher. Their monthly payments would be larger even for a house of the same price. That's discouraging some people from selling, thereby limiting the supply of available homes and contributing to slower home sales.

It's a significant shift from the way the U.S. housing market has worked for the past 30 years. For most of that time, whenever a homeowner decided to trade up to a better home, mortgage rates usually were lower than the last time they had bought. That helped make a new purchase seem more attractive.

___

Tobacco firms Reynolds, Lorillard in merger talks

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Big Tobacco may soon get smaller.

The makers of Camel and Newport cigarettes said Friday they are in talks to combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies. A deal between Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. would create a formidable No. 2 to rival Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA. It also could spur a wave of consolidation in the tobacco business, shrink factories and workforces, and push prices for cigarettes higher even as smokers buy fewer of them.

The news follows months of speculation about the possible combination. In separate statements, the companies said no agreement has been reached and there's no guarantee one will be.

___

Amazon asks FAA for permission to fly drones

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is asking the Federal Aviation Administration permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.

The news sent shares of the nation's largest e-commerce company up nearly 6 percent on Friday.

The online retailer created a media frenzy in December when it outlined a plan on CBS' "60 Minutes" to deliver packages with self-guided aircrafts that seemed straight out of science fiction.

In a letter to the FAA dated Wednesday, Amazon said it is developing aerial vehicles as part of Amazon Prime Air. The aircraft can travel over 50 miles per hour and carry loads of up to 5 pounds. About 86 percent of Amazon's deliveries are 5 pounds or less, the company said.

___

World Cup defeat can hurt domestic stock market

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close