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Stocks edge higher...New-home sales climb...Senate panel to question Internet execs on privacy policies

September 26, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are slightly higher in early trading on Wall Street as traders await this afternoon’s Federal Reserve announcement on interest rates. Economists are nearly certain that the Fed will raise short-term rates by a quarter of a percentage point, the third such increase this year. But investors are more interested in what the Fed and Chairman Jerome Powell say about what’s coming next. Most investors expect a fourth rate increase in December with perhaps a few more in 2019, as the economy continues to strengthen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes climbed 3.5 percent in August, snapping a two-month decline. The Commerce Department says newly built homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 last month. The gains mostly came from a 47.8 percent jump in the Northeast and a 9.1 percent increase in the West. New-home sales edged up in the Midwest but fell in the South.. Still, rising costs and higher mortgage rates have tempered some of the enthusiasm from would-be buyers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Executives of a half-dozen internet titans are due to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee today to explain their privacy policies. Senior executives from AT&T, Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter and Charter Communications are expected to testify at the hearing. The panel is considering ways to develop national rules governing how companies can use consumer data to target advertising and for other business purposes.

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon continues to expand delivery from its Whole Foods grocery stores. It’s announcing new service in 10 cities, and expanding free grocery pick-up to five new cities. It’s also broadening delivery areas in New York and Seattle where it’s already operating. Delivery is now available in 48 cities. Customers can order through the company’s app or online.

NEW YORK (AP) — Remote villages in Africa and Asia are receiving electricity using a little-known type of technology: zinc-air batteries. California-based NantEnergy says it has created a zinc-air battery storage system that can provide power at a lower cost than lithium-ion batteries. The company says its zinc air battery system can deliver energy for $100 per kilowatt hour. The technology is also being used in cell phone towers.

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