New-home sales slipped in December
U.S. sales of newly built homes fell 0.4% in December, cooling slightly after low mortgage rates fueled gains for much of 2019. The Commerce Department said Monday that new single-family houses sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000 last month. But for all of 2019, sales climbed 10.3% to 681,000, the highest total since 2007 when 776,000 new homes were sold as the housing bubble was beginning to deflate ahead of the Great Recession. Last year's gains were driven entirely by new homes purchased in the South and West. Sales of new homes slumped in the Northeast and Midwest in 2019. December's median new-home sales price was $331,400, up 0.5% from a year ago.
Delta employee shot in Ga. parking lot
A Delta Air Lines employee was shot in a company parking lot in College Park, Ga., and later died on the way to a hospital, police said Monday. The shooting happened Sunday night in the lot near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, College Park police said. Officers found 30-year-old Alexis Reed with multiple gunshot wounds. The airline is investigating in partnership with law enforcement, Delta spokeswoman Chelsea Gorman said in a statement.
Privacy watchdog investigating H&M
A German privacy watchdog said it has opened an investigation into clothing retailer H&M amid evidence that the Swedish retailer had committed "massive data protection breaches" by spying on its customer-service representatives in Germany. Hamburg's data protection commissioner said in a statement Monday that a hard drive containing about 60 gigabytes of data revealed that superiors at the site in Nuremberg kept "detailed and systematic" records about employees' health, from bladder weakness to cancer, and about their private lives, such as family disputes or holiday experiences. Johannes Caspar said the records, which were accessible to all company managers, showed that employees were comprehensively spied on "in a way that's unparalleled in recent years."