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Stocks lower...Administration ends talks with California on mileage standards...Mortgage rates dip

February 21, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are lower in afternoon trading, putting the S&P 500 index on pace for just its fourth decline this month. The losses are widespread, with health care, communications and technology companies accounting for much of the decline.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Shares in Domino’s Pizza tumbled after the company’s same-store sales growth fell short of expectations in the U.S. and abroad. Domino’s said sales at established U.S. stores grew 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter, its 31st consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales. But Wall Street was forecasting growth of 6.8 percent, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration says it has broken off talks with California in a dispute over mileage standards, moving the two closer to a possible court battle that threatens to roil the auto industry. The administration wants to block tougher Obama-era mileage standards for vehicles. It has threatened to revoke California’s unique authority to set its own mileage standards as part of that.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates dipped this week to the lowest average in more than a year, providing a possible boost to the start of the Spring homebuying season in March. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.35 percent from 4.37 percent last week. The key 30-year home borrowing rate averaged 4.40 percent a year ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and China have resumed high-levels talks aimed at easing a trade standoff that has unnerved global investors and clouded the outlook for the world economy. The Trump administration has warned it will escalate its import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent if the two sides haven’t reached a resolution by March 2. But Trump in recent days has signaled a willingness to extend the deadline.