Pharmacy system delays plague Walgreens

Getting a prescription filled at Walgreens may take a lot longer than usual this week due to an ongoing outage of the drugstore chain's pharmacy computer database. Pharmacists have been filling prescriptions manually since the system went down Tuesday morning, causing delays for customers at all 8,200 Walgreens drugstores across the U.S., a company spokesman said Thursday. "We have been experiencing technical issues with our pharmacy systems," said Jim Cohn, a Walgreens spokesman. "Our pharmacies are still able to fill prescriptions and process most insurance claims, however some patients may experience longer wait times until certain functionalities are fully restored."

Ford's heavy-duty trucks to go aluminum

Ford's Super Duty trucks are getting a new aluminum body, just like their smaller sibling, the Ford F-150 pickup. Ford's 2017 F-250, F-350 and F-450 trucks sit on a new high-strength steel frame and have aluminum body panels. The materials help shave up to 350 pounds off the vehicles' weight, making them more nimble and fuel efficient and increasing towing capacity. Ford will offer three engines: a 6.7-liter V8 diesel, a 6.2-liter V8 gas engine and a 6.8-liter V10. Fuel economy hasn't been released. Ford is also adding features, including blind spot detection, lane departure warning and LED lighting in the cargo box. The 2017 Super Duty goes on sale next fall.

New homes sell at fastest pace in 7 years

Buoyed by steady job gains and low mortgage rates, Americans purchased new homes in August at the fastest pace in more than seven years. New-home sales surged 5.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000, the Commerce Department said. That is the strongest pace since February 2008, near the beginning of the Great Recession. Last month's increase followed an even bigger 12 percent jump in July, according to the government's revised figures. Healthy hiring and smaller price increases for new homes have finally begun pushing up sales, which were hammered during the Great Recession and recovered slowly.

After Fed decision, mortgage rates drop

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week following the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates at record lows for now. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.86 percent from 3.91 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages eased to 3.08 percent from 3.11 percent. Rates have stayed below 4 percent for nine straight weeks. Fed policymakers last week decided to keep a key short-term interest rate close to zero in the face of a weak global economy.

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