February 10, 2012 in Business

30-year mortgages stay at record low

 

WASHINGTON – The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage stayed at a record low this week, providing some added incentive for those looking to buy a home or refinance.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on the 30-year loan was unchanged at 3.87 percent. That’s the lowest level on records dating back to the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.16 percent, up from last week’s record low of 3.14 percent.

Still, low rates have done little to boost the struggling housing market. Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks in the past year. Yet few people can qualify to buy a home or refinance. Many of those who can have already done so.

And some prospective buyers don’t want to put money into a home that they fear could fall in price over the next few years.

Sales of previously occupied homes were dismal last year. New-home sales in 2011 were the worst on records going back half a century.

For the five-year adjustable loan, the average rate rose to 2.83 percent from 2.80 percent.

The average on the one-year adjustable loan rose to 2.78 percent from 2.76 percent.

PepsiCo to cut 8,700 jobs globally

NEW YORK – PepsiCo is trying to put some fizz back into its business. The food and drinks maker announced a restructuring on Thursday that includes cutting 8,700 jobs globally and plowing money into advertising drinks like Pepsi and Mountain Dew in North America.

Pepsi announced its cost-cutting plan Thursday as it reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, but also forecast a decline in adjusted 2012 earnings. On the mixed news, the company’s shares fell nearly 4 percent.

Tassimo coffee makers recalled for burn risk

WASHINGTON – Home-brewed coffee lovers, take note: More than a million popular coffee makers are being recalled after dozens of reports of the brewers spraying hot liquid, coffee grounds or tea leaves onto people.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said there have been 140 reports of problems with the Tassimo single-cup brewers dousing people, including 37 cases involving second-degree burns.

The CPSC said the coffee maker’s “T-disc,” the plastic disc that holds the coffee or tea, can burst while brewing.

About 835,000 coffee makers are on recall in the United States; another 900,000 in Canada.

The agency also announced the recall of 4 million packages of Tassimo espresso T-discs after 21 reports of problems.

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