Mortgage rates up

From our wire services

Fixed U.S. mortgage rates rose for the sixth straight week, putting the average rate on the 30-year loan just shy of 4 percent. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.98 percent. The average rate was last at 4 percent or higher in March 2012.

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Retail sales rise

Americans stepped up purchases at retail businesses in May, spending more on cars, home improvements and sporting goods. The Commerce Depart-ment said retail sales increased 0.6 percent, up from a 0.1 percent gain the previous month.

Jobless claims drop

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 334,000. The less volatile four-week average decreased 7,250 to 345,250, the Labor Department said. Both figures are roughly 7,000 higher than month-ago levels.

N.Y. tribal deal

New York State and Seneca Indian Nation leaders announced a deal to resolve a long-running dispute over western gambling rights and revenue. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Seneca President Barry Snyder Sr. said $630 million in payments withheld by the tribe after it said the state broke an agreement granting it exclusive gambling rights will be divided up between three cities with Seneca casinos, the state and the tribe.

$82,000 parking spot

A parking spot in San Francisco sold last week for $82,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The 8-by-12-foot parking space is in an enclosed garage in a condominium building near the San Francisco Giants' ballpark. A Porsche SUV was parked in it on Thursday.

Potato prices lawsuit

A U.S. wholesale grocer says America's potato farmers have run an illegal price-fixing cartel for a decade, driving up spud prices while spying on farmers with satellites and aircraft fly-overs to enforce strict limits on how many tubers they can grow. The Associated Wholesale Grocers' lawsuit against United Potato Growers of America and two dozen other defendants contends that the potato growers reduced planting acreages and destroyed potatoes in a scheme to inflate prices.

'Happy Birthday' suit

A production company making a documentary about the song "Happy Birthday to You" has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Warner/Chappell Music Inc. has been illegally collecting song licensing fees for years. The film company seeks class action status over more than $5 million in fees and to make the song free to use.

Smartphone theft

Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, citing statistics showing that 1 in 3 robberies nationwide involve the theft of a mobile phone.

Airline delays

The nation's airlines struggled to stay on schedule in April, with one in four flights arriving late, government figures show. Airlines blamed furloughs of air traffic controllers and bad weather.

Inventories mixed

U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in April, but their sales fell for a second straight month. The mixed report suggests economic growth could be slowing. The Commerce Department says business stockpiles rose 0.3 percent in April, but sales slipped 0.1 percent following a sharp 1.2 percent drop in March.


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