Rates have risen more than a full percentage point since May. Last week's spike comes after more Fed members signaled they could be open to reducing the bond purchases as early as September. The purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates low, including mortgage rates.
Despite the increase, mortgage rates remain low by historical standards. And recent reports suggest the jump in rates has yet to sap the housing recovery's momentum.
Wal-Mart pushes 'made in America' at summitORLANDO, Fla. (AP) â¿¿ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping for a groundswell "made-in-America" movement. The world's largest retailer hosted its first two-day summit Thursday bringing together retailers, suppliers and government officials that it hopes will build on the company's recent commitment to drive more manufacturing in the U.S. The event, which attracted representatives from 500 manufacturers, eight governors, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and officials from three dozen states, comes seven months after the Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter pledged that it planned to buy $50 billion more U. S. made goods over the next decade. That's the equivalent of just more than 10 percent of what Wal-Mart will sell at retail this year. ___ Sears 2Q loss widens as sales weaken at stores NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ It was another bad quarter for Sears Holdings Corp. The beleaguered retailer, which operates Kmart and Sears stores, said Thursday that its second-quarter loss widened as the company continued to struggle with weak sales and deep discounts. The results were also hurt by the decline in the number of stores in operation and the lingering effects from its spinoff of the Hometown and Outlet brand. A series of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy's Inc., have reported disappointing quarterly results this month and have issued bleaker outlooks as shoppers deal with an uncertain economy and an increase in the payroll tax. Some store executives have also noted that people are shifting spending toward bigger-ticket items like cars and home improvement and away from clothing.