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Stocks slip ... Mortgage rates edge up ... Nike plans 1,400 job cuts

June 15, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Technology companies, retailers, and smaller firms are taking some of the largest losses. Investors appeared rattled that the Bank of England came close to raising interest rates sooner than expected, and by reports the special counsel appointed to investigate Russian influence in the presidential campaign is now examining whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates edged up this week as the benchmark 30-year rate bounced back from a seven-month low. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.91 this week from 3.89 percent last week. The rate on the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.18 percent from 3.16 percent. Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti says this week’s higher rates might not last.

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less optimistic, a shift that follows a big drop in sales of new homes in April. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index declined to 67 this month. That’s down two points from a downwardly revised reading of 69 in May. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 since September.

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike plans to cut some 1,400 jobs and reduce the number of sneaker and clothing styles it makes by 25 percent. The company also wants to sell more shoes directly to customers online as part of a restructuring. Nike says the jobs cuts represent about 2 percent of its 70,000 employees around the world.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has ordered more money and a bigger role for private companies in designing apprenticeship programs meant to fill some of the 6 million open jobs in the U.S. Trump signed an executive order today to roughly double to $200 million the taxpayer money spent on learn-to-earn programs. The money would come from existing job training programs. The executive order would leave it to industry to design apprenticeships under broad standards to be set by the Labor Department.

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