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Author Archives: Carl Fox

Carl Fox is the money and finance editor for Conservative Daily News. Follow him in the "Money & The Economy" section at CDN and see his posts on the "Junior Economists" Facebook page.

U.S. home prices least affordable in a decade

U.S. home prices in the first quarter were at the least affordable level since Q3 2008 according to ATTOM Data Solutions report and California is home to three of the top 5 least affordable counties. The Q2 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report calculates an affordability index based on percentage of income needed to buy a median-priced home relative to historic averages, with ...

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Trump Effect: Best truck freight market ever seen

semi trucks freight

The American Trucking Association (ATA) says in its May report that the economy is continuing to produce an amazingly robust market for freight. ATA’s advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.7% in May after rising 2.7% in April. In May, the index equaled 113.8 (2015=100), up from 113 in April. “This continues to be one of the best, if ...

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Credit card holders leave travel rewards on the table

Credit card holders don’t take advantage of their travel rewards, according to U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice. In its most recent survey of travel credit card users, U.S. News found that nearly half of respondents did not take advantage of common cardholder benefits such as airport lounge access, trip cancellation and delay insurance, free ...

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4 out of 5 millennials can’t answer basic financial questions

Do you think you know the basics when it comes to finances? According to a new nationwide survey released today by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), millennials still have a lot to learn about fundamental personal finance topics such as credit scores, compound interest and investing. Americans age 25-40 were asked five basic financial literacy questions from the MassMutual ...

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Housing market outlook dips into neutral territory on affordability, natural disasters

Home for sale

Recent data from Nationwide’s Health of Housing Markets Report (HoHM Report) show a further worsening of housing market sustainability. For the first time since 2010, Nationwide’s proprietary Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM) does not forecast a positive outlook for the housing sector. LIHHM is unusual among housing market reports because it is a forward-looking measure of housing market sustainability. The ...

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Homes Selling Faster despite 7.8% rise in prices

Home for sale

In May, homes sold faster than at virtually any other time in the past decade, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. Low inventory and high demand in May cut Days on Market to 46, the second-lowest monthly number in the nearly 10-year history of the report. May home sales topped April sales by 14.5% and were down by 2.8% from May ...

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May Real Estate Market the Fastest on Record; Prices Up 6.3%

Home for sale

The typical home that sold in May went under contract in 34 days, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. May broke April’s record of 36 days, which was the fastest month Redfin had recorded going back to 2010.  Amid the speed, the national median home sale price rose to $305,600, a 6.3 percent increase from May 2017 across the 174 markets that ...

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Paypal biggest winner, Apple Pay biggest loser as e-payment options

Mobile payment

Paypal gained the most ground as Apple Pay lost the most market share among e-payment solutions, according to findings from the sixth annual 2018 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey (MPFS), which measures the state of mobile payments and mobile channel fraud from each prior survey year. In surveying nearly 600 merchants, the report found that several major mobile wallets have lost traction, ...

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Mortgage Demand Falls to Three-Year Low

Home for sale

Mortgage lenders reported a net negative profit margin outlook for the seventh consecutive quarter, as rising home prices and tight housing supply continue to put a squeeze on mortgage demand, according to Fannie Mae’s Q2 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey®. When asked about consumer demand for GSE eligible and government loans, the net share of lenders reporting growth in the past ...

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Used Vehicle Prices Hit Record High

Car lot

Shoppers seeking bargains on used vehicles might find them harder to come by when they head to the dealership this summer, according to the latest Used Car Report released by the experts at Edmunds.  In the first quarter of 2018, the average transaction price for a used vehicle was $19,657. This reflects a 2.2 percent increase in sales price from the ...

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Cheesecake Factory fined $4.5 million for Wage Theft

Cheesecake factory

The Labor Commissioner’s Office has found Cheesecake Factory Restaurants, Inc. liable in a $4.57 million wage theft case that underpaid 559 janitorial workers managed by Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning. Americlean Janitorial Services Corp., the Cheesecake Factory’s janitorial contractor that subcontracted the work to Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning, is also liable for the wage theft, which occurred at eight locations in ...

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Pipe Producers Challenge Claims That Steel Tariffs Will Harm Pipeline Industry

The American Line Pipe Producers Association (ALPPA), a domestic coalition of large diameter line pipe producers, vigorously challenges recent claims that U.S. pipeline developers are unable to source large diameter welded pipe (LDWP) for their projects domestically and that steel Section 232 tariffs imposed by President Trump are placing U.S. pipeline projects in jeopardy due to cost. First, there is ...

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Commodity Prices Up in May on Reduced Supply

Commodities rose in May as supplies were reduced due to higher temperatures and increased demand. The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was higher for the month, with 15 out of 22 Index constituents posting gains. Credit Suisse Asset Management observed the following: Energy increased 2.66%, led higher by Natural Gas, after persistent above-normal temperatures throughout the US raised cooling ...

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Report: The 8 Best Cars to Buy Now

Ford car lot auto dealership car sales

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled June’s list of the Best Cars to Buy Now. “Auto sales were up in May, so some automakers will likely pull back on incentives, especially on popular models,” says Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “Still, the Best Cars to Buy Now shows ...

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Contrary to Hype, ‘Gig Economy’ hasn’t grown in two decades

Today’s BLS Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements survey results represent an important addition to our knowledge regarding the level and distribution of non-traditional work arrangements in the US economy. The first of their kind in a dozen years, the data show that between 2005 and 2017 the share of independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers and workers provided by ...

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