SEATTLE (Reuters) – Mortgage delinquencies rose to a new record in November and could remain high in December as Americans set aside more money for holiday expenses, Equifax Inc data show.
Among U.S. homeowners with mortgages, 7.91 percent were at least 30 days late on payments in November, up from 7.76 percent in October, according to the monthly data the credit bureau provided exclusively to Reuters on Wednesday.
SEATTLE (Reuters) – The slump in the housing market ended around March, and while there is improvement, it will be slow and fitful, U.S. luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc’s <TOL.N> Chief Executive Robert Toll said on Wednesday.
The housing market slump, “we now believe, ended approximately in March 2009,” Toll said in a conference call, following its preliminary fourth quarter results a day earlier. “Basically, we think we’re working our way out of it. It will come in fits and starts.”
SEATTLE, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Union Pacific Corp <UNP.N>
executives said a move by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway
Inc <BRKa.N><BRKb.N> to buy its rival Burlington Northern Santa
Fe Corp <BNI.N> was a “strong positive statement” for the
Buffett’s move was a “positive statement … on what he
thinks about rails, and in particular, what he thinks about
western rails,” and underscored that “there is a great amount
of upside opportunity in the rails,” company executives said
during a Goldman Sachs conference on Wednesday, which was
monitored via a Webcast.
SEATTLE (Reuters) – More U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the economy, but poor demand remains a top concern, according to a survey.
Forty-eight percent of U.S.-based industrial manufacturers surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the third quarter said they were optimistic about the U.S. economy over the next year, while only 43 percent had said so in the second quarter.
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Package delivery rivals FedEx Corp <FDX.N> and United Parcel Service <UPS.N> faced off for the first time over a bill pending in Congress that would change FedEx workers’ labor laws, setting out their positions in a debate on Tuesday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In question is a reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration passed in May by the U.S. House of Representatives, under which FedEx employees would be covered by the National Labor Relations Act instead of the Railway Labor Act. The bill is awaiting Senate approval.
SEATTLE/BANGALORE, Oct 27 (Reuters) – For-profit education
provider Apollo Group Inc <APOL.O> said regulatory authorities
have launched an informal inquiry over its revenue recognition
practices, and its shares fell 20.5 percent.
Apollo, parent of the University of Phoenix, said on
Tuesday that it intends to cooperate with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission’s inquiry, but did not give further
details. The scope, duration or outcome of the inquiry could
not be determined, Apollo said.
SEATTLE (Reuters) – If you are waiting for your local Saks Inc store to serve up the same deep discounts as in the 2008 holiday season — don’t hold your breath.
Last year, Saks stunned consumers with drastic holiday discounts, up to 70 percent off at times, as it struggled to sell its luxury merchandise to frugal shoppers in the recession.
SEATTLE, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Neiman Marcus [NMRCUS.UL], whose
holiday gift catalog is a hallmark of opulence, unveiled a
“lite” version for 2009 on Tuesday, offering an Icon sports
plane for a mere $250,000, a $105,000 Jaguar car and a $25,000
The relatively modest version of the Neiman catalog is the
latest sign that the world’s most extravagant shoppers may not
have as much cash to burn on gifts.
Check out Walgreen’s sales growth.Walgreen Co, the largest U.S. drugstore chain, said on Friday that September sales at its stores open at least one year rose 5.3 percent, thanks to in-store flu vaccinations and people filling more 90-day prescriptions.Sales of general merchandise, which consumers have been shying away from in past months, also rose for the first time since May for Walgreen.Retailers began their seasonal flu vaccinations earlier than usual this year, amid raised awareness of the flu with the H1N1 pandemic. Pharmacy same-store sales rose 7 percent for Walgreen, with the number of prescriptions filled at existing stores jumping 12 percent, including 5.2 percentage points from pharmacists administering seasonal flu shots.Walgreen, which administered 1.2 million seasonal flu vaccines in last year’s flu season, has already given more than 2.4 million this season and aims to administer 5 million.But not all drugstores have reported such growth.Rite Aid said on Thursday that its same-store sales fell 0.3 percent in the four weeks ended Sept. 26. Its pharmacy same-store sales rose 0.7 percent, while general merchandise same-store sales fell 2.3 percent.Also in the basket:U.S. September non-farm payroll plunges 263,000Wal-Mart sees slow U.S. business recoveryShareholder sues Cadbury officers over Kraft bidBarbie, Beatles, guns to rule holiday toy roost (Reuters photo)