Stocks Rise … Mortgage Rates Rise … WHO Calls for Vaccines

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NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks closed mostly higher, helping the S&P close its best week since February. This is a noticeable reversal for the market, which just the previous week had its worst since February over inflation concerns. The Dow was boosted by soaring shares of Nike, which reported sharp earnings growth Thursday night and gave investors good outlooks for the year. Investors welcomed data showing lower inflation than expected, as well as an infrastructure deal between President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Mortgage rates topped the 3% mark this week for the first time in 10 weeks as the economic recovery from the pandemic recession continues and inflation remains high. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average on a key 30-year home loan rose to 3.02% from 2.93% last week. The 15-year loan rate jumped to 2.34% from 2.24% last week. A government report on Friday showed that consumer spending was unchanged in May, but inflation saw significant gains, with prices excluding food and energy surging by the largest amount in nearly three decades.

GENEVA (AP) – The head of the World Health Organization lamented the lack of COVID-19 vaccines that rich countries immediately donated to the developing world, saying the global community is failing and repeating the mistakes of the AIDS pandemic. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday there was nothing to discuss during a recent meeting of an advisory group set up to distribute coronavirus vaccines. Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to Tedros, described the current situation in Africa as “dire,” noting that the number of cases on the continent has increased by 50% over the past five weeks.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional Democrats have approved a measure restoring rules aimed at curbing climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling – a rare attempt by Democrats to use the legislative branch to reverse a regulatory rollback under President Trump. The House of Representatives finally legislated on Friday a resolution that overturns a Trump-era rule softening the requirements of the 2016 Obama administration’s rule aimed at methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. The resolution was approved, 229-191, and is now being sent to President Joe Biden for signature.

NEW YORK (AP) – The Manhattan attorney’s office is considering opening a criminal case soon against Donald Trump’s company based on a lengthy investigation into the former president’s business dealings. The New York Times reported that charges could be brought against the Trump Organization as early as next week for additional benefits it provided to senior executives, such as the use of apartments. The Times cites people familiar with the matter. Trump Organization attorney Ron Fischetti confirmed to The Associated Press that he practically met with prosecutors on Thursday and that criminal charges are possible. He called them “totally outrageous.” The Manhattan attorney’s office declined to comment.

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