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Stocks mixed...Appeals court orders removal of widely used pesticide...Mortgage rates decline

August 9, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Technology stocks are rising while energy companies and banks slip. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, after the Labor Department reported that wholesale prices were little changed in July, a sign inflation pressures weakened slightly.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court says the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping a widely used pesticide on the market despite extensive scientific evidence that even tiny levels of exposure can harm babies’ brains. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to remove chlorpyrifos (klor-PY’-rih-fahs) from sale in the United States within 60 days. A coalition of farmworkers and environmental groups sued last year after then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama-era effort to ban the pesticide, which is sprayed on citrus fruits, apples and other crops.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates are down this week amid a restrained home buying season this summer. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 4.59 percent from 4.60 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.90 percent a year ago. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans fell to 4.05 percent this week from 4.08 percent last week.

NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung has announced that its next major smartphone will come out Aug. 24. The new Galaxy Note 9 will be faster and last longer without a recharge. But don’t expect earth-shattering features. The new phone will get some automatic photo editing and a stylus that can serve as a remote control. But the highlights will be a bigger battery, faster processor and improved cellular speeds. Today’s announcement precedes Apple’s expected release of new iPhones by about a month.

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is expanding the baby products it sells in its stores as it tries to claim some of the Babies R Us sales up for grabs. The department store chain is opening baby shops in 500 stores that are near now-shuttered Babies R Us locations, now that Babies R Us owner Toys R Us has liquidated. Starting Aug. 30, J.C. Penney will sell in stores items like cribs, high chairs, strollers and car seats that it had formerly sold on its website only.

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