Fitbit shares up nearly 50% in market debut

Fitbit flexed some muscle and its shares rocketed almost 50 percent higher in the first day of trading for the fitness tracking gear maker. Fitbit's initial public offering priced at $20 per share, bringing in more than $730 million and valuing Fitbit at about $4.1 billion in total. The company had already raised its stock price expectations this week and said the IPO would include additional shares, but the offering still surpassed its estimates. The company makes devices that can be worn on the wrist or clipped to clothing. They track steps taken, calories burned and other data and can be synced up with smartphones. Fitbit also sells a Wi-Fi enabled scale that tracks body mass and other data. The San Francisco company's shares jumped $9.68 to $29.68 Thursday.

Consumer prices jump most in two years

Consumer prices increased in May by the largest amount in more than two years, reflecting the biggest one-month jump in gas prices in nearly six years. But outside of energy, price pressures remained modest. The consumer price index rose 0.4 percent in May, the biggest advance since February 2013, the Labor Department reported. The increase was driven by a 10.4 percent rise in the cost of gasoline, which has started climbing after nearly a year of falling energy prices. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, was up a modest 0.1 percent in May as the price of clothing and household furnishings declined. Over the past 12 months, overall inflation has shown no increase, while core inflation is up just 1.7 percent.

After a jump, U.S. mortgage rates ease a bit

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased this week after hitting their highest levels this year in the previous week. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4 percent this week from 4.04 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.23 percent from 3.25 percent. Mortgage rates have been surging in recent weeks amid signs of improvement in the economy. The Federal Reserve appears ready to raise interest rates this year for the first time in nearly a decade.

YouTube launches video news service

YouTube has started a video news service to showcase the most interesting clips recorded and posted by eyewitnesses at events unfolding around the world. The service, called "YouTube Newswire," is being compiled by Storyful, an Internet service owned by News Corp. that also recently started to package interesting stories posted on social networking leader Facebook. YouTube is trying to make it easier to find the most compelling news clips amid the 300 hours of video posted on its site each minute.

NEWS SERVICES