Morning Money Memo…
America’s homeowners are doing a better job of paying their loans on time.
“The mortgage market is getting better. The newer loans are doing well,” says Steve Chaouki, head of financial services for the credit reporting firm Trans Union.
Its new report today says the rate of late payments is down to the lowest level in more than five years.
“Very interestingly, the newer mortgages, those originating in the last two or three years, are performing as well as the loans that originated prior to the recession,” Chaouki says, “so we think we’re getting back to historic norms in terms of mortgage performance.”
Amazon Is Hiring
Amazon says it is hiring more than 2,500 full-time workers at its order fulfillment centers around the U.S. The company plans to announce that the jobs are available in Chester, Va., and Petersburg, Va.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Columbia, S.C.; Dupont, Wash.; Murfreesboro, Tenn. The world’s largest online retailer says last year it hired more than 20,000 people at its fulfillment centers, with more than half starting out as seasonal workers.
So Far, So Good for Yellen: Stocks Solid
The stock market is on its longest winning streak of the year. Words from new Fed Chair Janet Yellen helped reassure investors. Another plus was the decision by House Republican leaders to vote for a 12-month federal debt ceiling increase. The Dow Jones Index rose 193 points Tuesday. The S&P and Nasdaq closed more than 1 percent higher. Stock futures were up this morning.
One of Tuesday’s biggest stock market gainers was Boeing, rising 2.3 percent. That’s because of increased global sale for airplanes. The industry’s outlook improved and more new orders came this week at the Singapore Airshow.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters surged more than 7 percent. Its deal with Coca Cola is a plus for sales.
China’s government says exports rose more than 10 percent last month. The increase was much stronger than expected and helped to ease some concerns about a weaker Chinese economy. The news helped lift Asian markets. Oil prices this morning are back up over $100 a barrel. They’ve been rising recently with growing global demand.
Toyota is recalling 1.9 million Prius hybrid cars because of a software fault that may cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly. The world’s biggest automaker says it has identified more than 400 reports of the problem, with most occurring in Japan and North America. No accidents or injuries have been reported over the defect, according to Toyota.
Time is running short for Valentine’s Day. If you want to buy a dozen roses by Friday, expect to pay at least $50 online.
“Over 200 million roses are purchased for Valentine’s Day,” says Brent Shelton of the shopping website FatWallet.
Valentine’s Day spending is rising.
“We’re expecting a record $20 plus billion this year,” says Shelton.
When shopping for gifts online, watch out for the extras, such as “hidden fees, especially related to shipping,” says Shelton.