Business in brief: Home prices up 1.3 percent in May
WASHINGTON — The price of residential housing rose in May on the back of strong sales in the spring, but analysts said they doubted the gain would be sustainable in coming months as the housing sector continued to struggle.
Home prices rose 1.3 percent in May compared with April in 20 major U.S. cities on a seasonally unadjusted basis, according to the Case-Shiller home-price index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor’s.
Prices have moved up 4.6 percent in the past year, the data showed. That’s the highest rate since August 2006.
Hearing on future of Fannie, Freddie
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, which has been under fire for not developing a concrete plan for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, says it will hold a conference next month to discuss their future.
The administration said Tuesday the event will be held Aug. 17 at the Treasury Department.
The financial overhaul signed by President Barack Obama didn’t address their future. The Obama administration has said it wants to wait until next year to determine their future.
The government created the two companies as a hybrid of a private company and a federal agency to help make mortgages available. They buy home loans from lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and sell them to investors. They own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million home loans worth more than $5 trillion.
From wire reports
• Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said its second-quarter net income rose 12 percent thanks to stronger military hardware sales and a gain from plans to sell off a business unit. The nation’s biggest supplier of military equipment earned $825 million, or $2.22 per share, up from $734 million, or $1.88 per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 4 percent to $11.44 billion from $11.07 billion.
• Railroad Norfolk Southern Corp. said its second-quarter earnings surged 59 percent as shipments increased, it raised prices and improved efficiency in the recovering economy.
• Chemical maker DuPont Co. said its net income nearly tripled in the second quarter as revenue surged in most of its businesses and it raised prices. The Wilmington, Del., company also raised its earnings forecast for the year, saying it expects to continue to benefit from higher prices, growing sales and better efficiency.