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Tech stocks slide...Mortgage rates up...Americans’ net worth increases

September 21, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — A slide among technology companies has been dragging U.S. stock indexes slightly lower in afternoon trading, wiping out modest gains from a day earlier. Technology stocks are down the most. Supermarket operators and other consumer-focused stocks are also lower. Industrial companies and banks are leading the gainers. Investors are sizing up new company earnings and deal news.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates rose this week, lifting the 30-year fixed mortgage from the lowest levels of 2017. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.83 percent, up from 3.78 percent last week and above last year’s average of 3.65 percent. The 15-year fixed rate rose to 3.13 percent from 3.08 percent last week. Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages rose to 3.17 percent from 3.13 percent last week.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans plan a retreat away from the Capitol next week to discuss a tax overhaul that congressional leaders have been working on for month. The retreat is set for Wednesday, and GOP leaders have promised to publicly release outlines of their tax plan in the coming week. Republicans are determined to deliver the first tax overhaul in more than three decades. The goal is to cut tax rates for individuals and corporations, and eliminate some tax breaks to pay for the cuts.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A healthy gain in the stock market and steadily increasing home prices boosted Americans’ household wealth this spring, a trend that likely adds to the nation’s inequality. The Federal Reserve says that Americans’ net worth rose 1.8 percent to $96.2 trillion in the April-June quarter. Stock portfolios and mutual funds jumped $1.1 trillion. Home values climbed $600 billion.

NEW YORK (AP) — Toys R Us may have filed for Chapter 11 reorganization this week, but the toy chain is revving up its holiday hiring. Toys R Us says it will be accepting job applications for part-time holiday positions at stores and distribution centers in the U.S. That includes a new position called a toy demonstrator, who will help kids test out toys. Toys R Us plans to hire more than 12,500 for the top six markets, including Boston and New York.

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