Americans bought homes in October at the briskest pace this year, a sign that the sluggish housing market is turning around.
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Construction of new homes fell slightly in October after a big surge in the previous month, but the weakness was largely driven by the volatile apartment sector.
Federal Reserve policy-makers discussed a variety of economic threats at their October meeting — from turbulent financial markets to overseas weakness — but decided to move forward with plans to end their landmark bond buying program.
Lowe's third-quarter earnings jumped 17 percent as home improvement retailers continue to rebound from a tough start to the year, reaping gains from a nascent recovery in the housing market.
Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday's auction with rates on six-month bills rising to their highest point since March.
The federal agency that insures pensions for about 41 million Americans saw its deficit nearly double in the latest fiscal year. The agency said the worsening finances of some multi-employer pension plans mainly caused the increased deficit.
The Christmas shopping season started on an upbeat note, with retail sales growing by a solid 0.3 percent last month, the Census Bureau reported Friday.
Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, approaching their lows for the year. The benchmark 30-year loan rate hovered near 4 percent.
Five banks that deal on the worldwide arena have been collectively fined more than $3 billion after American, British and Swiss regulators found they tried to control and manipulate foreign exchange markets.
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