Stocks Are Down Overall … Mortgage Rates Decrease

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Business / Technology

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street stocks are broadly lower as bond yields continue to plunge and investors are cautious after the market hit a series of record highs last week. In the afternoon, the S&P 500 fell 0.9%. Tech companies have suffered some of the biggest losses. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.30% from 1.32% yesterday. The underlying yield, which is used to determine rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, has been steadily declining in recent weeks as traders move money into bonds. The yield on 10-year bonds at the end of March was 1.74%.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Mortgage rates continued to fall this week, tracking the decline in Treasury yields as the bond market continues to signal concerns about the strength of the recovery from the pandemic recession. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reports that the average for a 30-year home loan fell to 2.90% from 2.98% last week. For comparison, a year ago the rate was 3.03%. The 15-year loan rate fell to 2.20% from 2.26% last week. Freddie Mac economists expect economic growth will gradually lead to higher mortgage rates in the second half of the year.

UNDATED (AP) – A new study from France adds evidence that widely used COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide robust protection against the mutant coronavirus, which currently accounts for the majority of infections in the United States. The delta variant is spreading rapidly in populations with low vaccination rates. Researchers at the Pasteur Institute in France today published new evidence in the journal Nature that complete vaccination is critical. In laboratory studies, a single dose of the two-dose Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines “did little to suppress” the delta variant. But after the second dose, almost everyone had a dramatic increase in immunity.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The FDA has approved new prescribing guidelines that are likely to restrict the use of a controversial new Alzheimer’s drug. The update came a month after Aduhelm’s approval, prompting a wave of criticism over its price and questionable benefits. The updated prescribing label indicates that the drug is suitable for patients with early or mild Alzheimer’s disease. This is a big change from the original FDA guidelines, which simply said the drug was approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in general. The change could ease scrutiny by experts and legislators concerned about the cost of the drug.

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors is recalling more than 331,000 diesel pickup trucks in the US for a second time because block heater cords could short out and cause a fire. The recall applies to select Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 pickups from 2017 to 2019 with 6.6-liter diesel engines and block heaters. A short circuit can occur in the heater cord or terminals connecting the cable to the heater block. Coolant may leak from the block heater and come into contact with the terminals, which could cause a fire. GM says it has reports of 24 vehicle fires that have been addressed due to the same recall issue in 2019. Dealers will disconnect block heaters and cords. Replacement of block heaters and cords will be offered as part of a separate customer service campaign.

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