Honda plans ads to promote air bag recall
Honda is launching an unprecedented U.S. ad campaign urging owners to get vehicles repaired if they have been recalled to fix defective air bags. The Japanese automaker will spend several million dollars on ads in 120 newspapers and 30-second radio spots in 110 markets. It's also sponsoring customized Facebook posts that will appear in owners' timelines. The ads will begin running next week. Honda has recalled about 6.2 million cars in the U.S. since 2008 because air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into the vehicle.
Intel cuts forecast, citing weak PC demand
Intel's stock fell after the giant chipmaker lowered its first-quarter revenue forecast, citing weak demand for business desktop PCs and a strong dollar that affects revenue from overseas sales. The new forecast calls for little or no revenue growth, in contrast with company statements in recent months that its PC business was returning to growth after two years of weakness. Intel's chips serve as the brains for most personal computers, but its business has suffered as more consumers have turned to smartphones and tablets that use chips made by other companies. Intel's shares fell $1.53, or 4.7 percent, to close at $30.80.
U.S. net worth reached record in 4th quarter
Fueled by higher stock and home values, Americans' net worth reached a record high in the final three months of 2014. Household wealth rose 1.9 percent during the October-December quarter to nearly $83 trillion, the Federal Reserve said. Stock and mutual fund portfolios gained $742 billion, while the value of Americans' homes rose $356 billion. The typical household didn't benefit much, though. Most of the wealth remains concentrated among richer families. The wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households own about 80 percent of stocks. Still, greater wealth could help lift spending and economic growth.
U.S. mortgage rates rise again, but still low
Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historic lows reached in May 2013. Long-term rates resumed their upward trend of recent weeks after declining last week. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.86 percent from 3.75 percent last week. The average rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, rose to 3.10 percent from 3.03 percent last week.
Airline industry set more records last year
The rebound for the airline industry continues, with U.S. carriers reporting record high rates of filled seats and total international travelers in 2014, according to federal statistics. More than 98 million passengers traveled to international destinations on U.S. airlines in 2014, the highest total on record, while 662 million flew on domestic flights, the highest total since 2007, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The percentage of seats filled in 2014 rose to 83.4 percent, another record.