Boeing, Kaiser team up on aluminum scrap

FRIDAY, FEB. 28, 2014

Boeing will send 22 million pounds of aluminum scrap each year from its factories to Spokane Valley to be recycled.

The metal will arrive at Kaiser Aluminum’s rolling mill in Trentwood, where workers will re-melt the scrap alloys and then reuse it to make aluminum sheet and plate that is sold to Boeing and other manufacturers.

Both companies hailed the program as a way to reduce waste as industries constantly seek ways to reuse materials to save time and money.

Wells Fargo pares 700 in home lending unit

MINNEAPOLIS – Wells Fargo & Co. is cutting 700 jobs from its home lending business as mortgage refinancing slows down.

Most lenders have said they saw fewer refinancings once interest rates began to rise midway through last year. Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda said the number of new mortgages is continuing to drop during the first quarter of this year, although not as fast as it dropped last year.

The workers who will lose their jobs were notified on Wednesday. Wells Fargo & Co. has about 52,000 workers in its mortgage business.

On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it will cut 6,000 jobs from its mortgage unit this year.

Mortgage rates up for third straight week

WASHINGTON – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for a third straight week as new data showed a surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month. Rates still remain near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.37 percent from 4.33 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.39 percent from 3.35 percent.

A report Wednesday from the Commerce Department boosted expectations that the spring home buying season will be solid enough to lift the overall economy.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago.

Maker’s Mark plans to expand distillery

LORETTO, Ky. – The producers of Maker’s Mark bourbon announced a distillery expansion Thursday to pump up production and keep pace with growing demand for the Kentucky whiskey, known by its distinctive bottles sealed in red wax.

The $67 million expansion comes barely a year after the brand created a backlash by saying it was cutting the amount of alcohol in each bottle to stretch its whiskey supplies. Producers quickly scrapped the idea.

Maker’s shipped 1.4 million cases in 2013, up 10.7 percent from the prior year. It forecasts shipments to reach 2 million cases later this decade, after surpassing 1 million cases in 2011.

Freddie Mac nets $8.6 billion in quarter

WASHINGTON – Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted net income of $8.6 billion for the October through December period, its ninth straight profitable quarter. Earnings were boosted by the continued rise in home prices, which reduced the amounts the company had to set aside to cover losses on mortgages.

Freddie’s fourth-quarter profit reported Thursday nearly doubled from $4.5 billion in the last three months of 2012.

The government rescued Freddie and larger sibling Fannie Mae at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008.


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