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Verizon has one foot in the wireless world and one in the traditional, wired-phone world. In the latter, results were notably weaker. Like other phone companies, Verizon is losing landlines, but has been compensating to some extent by signing up broadband customers. In the second quarter, that trend faltered, as it gained just 2,000 broadband customers â¿¿ the worst result in four years.

Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the weak showing was in part due to Verizon ending the sale of DSL connections to people who don't have a landline phone account. The effort is part of an attempt to improve profitability. The wired-connection side of Verizon, which still employs nearly half of its workers, is running just above break-even.

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US home sales drop 5.4 percent, fewest since October

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Americans bought fewer homes in June than May, indicating the weak economy could make a modest housing recovery choppy.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of previously occupied homes fell 5.4 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million homes. That's the fewest since October.

Sales are up 4.5 percent from a year ago, evidence that the market is still recovering. But the annual sales pace is below the 6 million that economists consider healthy.

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US rate on 30-year mortgage: 3.53 percent, a record low

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Average rates on fixed-rate mortgages fell again this week to record lows, creating more incentive for buyers to enter the recovering housing market.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.53 percent. That's down from 3.56 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, declined to 2.83 percent, below last week's previous record of 2.86 percent.

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