Refinancing rises as 15-year mortgage rates plunge to record lows, and other business news

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15-year home loans fell to record low

The 15-year mortgage rate fell last week to a fresh low of 2.36%, pushing home loan refinancing volumes up.

Home loan refinancing applications jumped 9% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The MBA reported that the average contractual interest rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and related loan balances fell to 3.01% from 3.11%, down a point to 0.34 from 0.43 (including fees for registration) for loans with an initial payment of 20%. This is the lowest 30-year mortgage rate since February.

The cut in mortgage rates followed a drop in the yield on 10-year Treasuries last week.

“Investors have become worried about the increasing number of Covid-19 cases and the risks of worsening the current economic recovery,” said Joel Kahn, MBA’s deputy vice president for economist and industry forecasting.

Ford sales outperform profit forecasts

Sky-high pickup and SUV prices helped Ford Motor Co. earn unexpected profits in the second quarter, despite a global shortage of computer chips, which has cut production in half.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company said Wednesday that it earned $ 561 million between April and June, largely due to cost cuts and higher-than-expected prices for its vehicles.

The automaker warned earlier this year that it would be hit particularly hard by chip shortages and a fire at Japanese supplier Renesas, which makes many of its car chips, leading to losses in the second quarter.

But Ford surprised investors by earning 13 cents per share, excluding one-off investments. That was much better than Wall Street’s expectations for a loss of 3 cents a share, according to FactSet.

Revenue was $ 26.8 billion, which is also above analysts’ forecasts of just over $ 23 billion.

Facebook profits doubled in the quarter

Facebook doubled its profits in the second quarter thanks to a significant increase in ad revenue, especially thanks to the average ad price it offers to its nearly 3 billion users. But the company said it does not expect revenue to continue to grow at such a breakneck pace in the second half of the year.

The Menlo Park, California-based company earned $ 10.39 billion, or $ 3.61 a share, between April and June. That’s up from $ 5.18 billion, or $ 1.80 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue jumped 56% to $ 28.58 billion from $ 18.32 billion. According to a survey by FactSet, analysts on average expected earnings of $ 3.04 per share and revenues of $ 24.85 billion.

The growth in ad revenue was driven by a 47% increase in the average cost per ad over the same period last year and a 6% increase in the number of ads shown to people. Facebook said it expects ad prices, rather than the number of ads placed, to continue to drive growth.

Boeing reports profit for the first time since 2019

Boeing posted its first quarterly profit since 2019 and surpassed expectations as the giant aircraft maker struggles to climb out of its most difficult stretch in history.

Boeing earned $ 567 million in the second quarter, up from a $ 2.4 billion loss a year ago.

Industry analysts were expecting significant losses. Boeing Co. closed regular trading up 4% on Wednesday.

The return of the troubled 737 Max jet after two fatal accidents is key to Boeing’s recovery. During the quarter, the company delivered 79 commercial aircraft, including 47 Maxes, up from 20 a year earlier. Deliveries are an important source of cash for Boeing because that’s when airlines typically pay the bulk of the price for a new plane.

However, Boeing’s main commercial aircraft business suffered losses. However, this was offset by profits from its defense and space division and its services division.

Boeing has cut thousands of jobs in the past year and a half as it dealt with the shutdown of its 737 Max airliner and the pandemic that has reduced airline demand for new aircraft. Boeing planned to cut its staff to 130,000 from 161,000 at the end of 2019. However, CEO David Calhoun said in a memo to employees on Wednesday that the business is stabilizing and the company now plans to end the cuts and keep jobs at its current level of roughly 140,000.

– Compiled by Dave Flessner.

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