The number of CEOs planning to ramp up hiring is at the highest level since mid-2007, according to a survey that suggests big U.S. companies are growing more confident about the economic recovery. The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of big U.S. companies, said today its survey shows 39 percent of chief executives expect to boost their payrolls in the second half of 2010. Only 17 percent say jobs will drop, while 43 percent expect no change in their current work force. The proportion of those planning to hire is at the highest level since the second quarter of 2007, when it was at 42 percent.
Hundreds in ‘big house’ get homebuyer tax credits: Living in prison didn’t stop nearly 1,300 inmates from cashing in on a popular tax break for first-time homebuyers, a government investigator reported today. Their take: more than $9 million. In all, more than 14,100 tax filers wrongly received at least $26.7 million in tax credits meant to boost the nation’s slumping housing markets, said the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration. A common scam had multiple taxpayers using the sale of a single home, with each claiming the credit. One home was used by 67 tax filers, the report said.
Stocks slip after new home sales drop 33 percent: Stocks mostly fell today after new home sales dropped by a third to a record low last month following the end of homebuyer tax credits. The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 14 points in afternoon trading while broader indexes fell. Treasury prices rose, pushing down interest rates.
GM looks to banks to finance more subprime buyers: General Motors Co. is looking to boost auto sales by lining up banks and other financial institutions to make loans and lease deals for buyers with poor credit. The talks lessen the likelihood of GM trying to buy the auto finance business from Ally Financial Inc., its main lender. They also make it less likely that GM would start its own auto financing unit.
Mortgage application volume falls off last week: Mortgage applications volume dropped off by 5.9 percent last week even as mortgage rates decreased, a sign the housing market is struggling with government incentives, according to a report today from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinancing activity fell 7.3 percent on an adjusted basis during the week ending June 18, compared with the previous week. Purchase volume slipped 1.2 percent.
Disney to build luxury homes at Orlando resort: The Walt Disney Co. announced an ambitious plan to build multimillion dollar homes in a new gated community it’s creating at its famous Florida resort. About 30 properties will be available this year in the Golden Oak resort community at the Walt Disney World Resort. The homes will be listed for up to $8 million.