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Mortgage rates continue to fall


May 27, 2005

Rates on 30-year mortgages declined for the seventh time in the past eight weeks, Freddie Mac reported in its weekly nationwide survey.

This week, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.65 percent, down from 5.71 percent last week, pushing the rate down to the lowest level since mid-February.

For 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, rates dipped to 5.21 percent from 5.27 percent. Rates on one-year adjustable rate mortgages declined to 4.21 percent from 4.26 percent. Rates on five-year hybrid adjustable rate mortgages were unchanged this week at 5.07 percent, the same as last week. These hybrid mortgages have a fixed-rate for five years and then adjust each year after that.

The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The 30-year and 15-year mortgages carried a fee of 0.6 point while the two other categories had a fee of 0.7 point.

Associated Press

FTC antitrust inquiry clears Shell

Shell Oil Co. wasn't trying to tighten gasoline supplies and boost prices in California when it decided to close a Bakersfield-area refinery, federal regulators concluded.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it would end a year-long antitrust investigation that found no evidence the oil company was involved in a price-gouging scheme in California, which had the nation's highest gas prices.

The Bakersfield refinery employed several hundred people and had a capacity of 70,000 barrels of crude oil a day. In March, the refinery was sold to Flying J, a Utah truck stop operator.

Associated Press

1st Pacific Bank to split stock

1st Pacific Bank of California plans a 2-for-1 split of the bank's common stock to take effect June 15. Shareholders will receive one additional share for each share they own. The split will increase the number of the bank's outstanding shares to about 3.85 million.

The bank, with $230 million in assets, has offices in La Jolla, Oceanside, Mission Valley and Rancho Bernardo. Its shares ended yesterday unchanged at $24 a share on the over the counter bulletin board.

Vantage wins Navy contract

Vantage Associates of National City said it received a Navy contract that could be worth as much as $11.6 million over the next five years. The contract awarded by the Navy's Fleet and Industrial Supply Center requires Vantage to supply sheet metal and machined parts for a variety of aircraft at San Diego's Naval Air Station, North Island, and similar depots in Jacksonville, Fla., and Cherry Point, N.C., and elsewhere. The contract provides $2.4 million in the first year, with four one-year options to extend the contract.

Judge delays Ebbers sentencing

A federal judge has postponed the sentencing of former WorldCom chief Bernard Ebbers by one month, to July 13, allowing several more weeks for Ebbers and prosecutors to file sentencing-related papers and for Ebbers to file additional papers in support of his bid for a new trial.

Ebbers, 63, was convicted in March of orchestrating the record $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom, which collapsed in bankruptcy in 2002 and has since re-emerged under the name MCI Inc. He faces up to 85 years in prison.

Associated Press

J&J tells of drug pipeline

Johnson & Johnson, which like other major drug makers faces a growing number of patent expirations, said it plans to file and receive marketing approval for 10 to 13 new drug compounds by 2007. The company, in its first major review of its drug portfolio in four years, said that it expects to grow even though it will likely lose patent protection on some of its top-selling drugs. Those include Concerta for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and painkiller Ultracet.

Per Peterson, J&J's chairman for research and development, said the company could have as many as 70 product filings between 2005 and 2011, including 23 new drug compounds and 47 line extensions. J&J said 29 percent of those would come in the area of cancer treatments.


TiVo cuts quarterly loss

TiVo Inc., whose digital video recorders allow commercial-free TV viewing, exceeded Wall Street expectations and saw its quarterly loss shrink thanks in part to thousands of new subscribers who failed to cash in their $100 rebates. First-quarter loss was $857,000, or 1 cent per share, compared with a loss of $9.07 million or 11 cents per share a year earlier. Revenue rose 36 percent to $46.9 million.

Associated Press

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