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Amazon to cut prices on Whole Foods staples like eggs, beef

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is moving swiftly to make big changes at Whole Foods, saying it plans to cut prices on bananas, eggs, salmon, beef and more as soon as it completes its $13.7 billion takeover next week.

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US interior chief says he won’t eliminate protected lands

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he won’t seek to abolish any national monuments carved from the wilderness and oceans by past presidents. But he says he will press to change some boundaries and is leaving open the possibility of allowing drilling, mining or other industries on some of the land.

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A puzzle for central bankers: Solid growth but low inflation

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — With the prospect of new leadership at the Federal Reserve within months, investors will be listening for any hint of shifting interest rate policies among the world’s most top central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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Pace of US home sales in July reached lowest level of 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from buying homes in July as sales fell to their lowest level of the year. Sales of existing homes slipped 1.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million. Despite the monthly decline, sales are 2.1 percent higher than a year ago. But fewer homes are coming onto the market, and the shortage is hurting sales levels.

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Lone uncovered US county gets insurer for health exchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The lone county currently at risk of going uncovered on the federal health law’s insurance exchanges has landed an insurer. Ohio-based insurer CareSource and the state Department of Insurance announced Thursday that the company will step up to provide health insurance coverage in Paulding County, Ohio, in 2018. Earlier this year, well over 40 mostly rural counties faced the prospect of having no options for their exchanges, but insurers have gradually come forward to fill the gaps.

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Shopping by voice on Amazon or Google device could cost you

NEW YORK (AP) — In the name of convenience, Amazon and Walmart are pushing people to shop by just talking to a digital assistant. Voice shopping offers the convenience of ordering something when it’s still fresh on your mind, even if your hands are tied up. But it also removes some of the savvy shopping practices you’ve come to expect — researching products and comparing prices. You’re now leaving much of that decision to the retailers.

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US weekly requests for jobless aid up 2,000 to 234,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans applied for jobless aid last week. Despite the small increase, the number of people seeking benefits remained close to historic lows. The Labor Department says that weekly unemployment applications rose by 2,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 234,000. The less volatile four-week average fell 2,750 to 237,750.

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Up, down, back again: Stocks dip after meandering again

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks flipped between modest gains and losses on Thursday, the latest meandering course for a market that’s been pushed in many directions the last few weeks. Retailers were big winners after a wide variety said they earned bigger profits last quarter than Wall Street forecast. Food companies struggled after the makers of Spam and Folgers coffee reported weaker results than analysts had expected, and grocers fell after Amazon said it plans to cut prices at Whole Foods.

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Hooked, hoodwinked: Some drug rehabs aim for relapse and $$$

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As addictions destroy families across America, there’s a huge need for effective treatment centers to wean people off drugs and into recovery. But the FBI and other agencies are seeing much more insurance fraud that relies on keeping patients hooked. Experts say it’s a lethal, multi-million dollar cycle of intentional failure. One investigator calls it a gravy train that doesn’t end until people trying to get off drugs leave in a body bag or an ambulance.

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30-year US mortgage rate dips to 3.86 percent, 2017 low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The benchmark 30-year mortgage rate is at new low for the year, touching its lowest level since last November. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.86 percent from 3.89 percent last week. It was the fourth straight weekly decline for the key rate. The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, remained at 3.16 percent this week.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.07 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,438.97. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,783.40, the Nasdaq composite fell 7.08 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,271.33.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 98 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $47.43 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 53 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $52.04 a barrel. Natural gas rose 2 cents to settle at $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil was close to flat at $1.62 per gallon. Wholesale gasoline futures rose 5 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $1.66 per gallon.

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