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Editorial Results (free)

1. Nashville Mayor’s Race Exposes Unpleasant Problems -

In six weeks or so, the Greater Nashville area will learn what a snowmegeddon can do to area home sales.

With a quarter of the month frozen, it was hard for buyers to let it go and embark upon a house hunt. March closings, reflecting February sales, will be released in early April and might slow the freight train that the residential real estate has been riding for almost three years.

2. Mike Shildt: From College Walk-On To Memphis Redbirds Manager -

Any professional baseball player can tell you about the stigmas he has to fight. For one guy, it might be that he doesn’t hit with enough power. And for another it might be that he doesn’t make consistent enough contact.

3. Fewer Homes for Sale Pushes Up US House Prices in December -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose in December at a faster pace than the previous month, likely because of a much smaller number of homes for sale.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, increased 4.5 percent in December compared with 12 months earlier. That is up from 4.3 percent in November and the same as October's annual increase. The small gain comes after price increases had slowed for 12 straight months.

4. Building From a New Blueprint -

When recruiting new businesses, East Tennessee economic development officials have long touted the benefits of partnering with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

The lab and the university both have a history of working closely with private business to develop cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, technologies and new products. That research effort recently received a major boost with President Obama’s announcement of a new manufacturing innovation hub based in the Knoxville area.

5. Groupon Founder Takes a Detour With New Audio Tour App -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Two years ago, Andrew Mason faced an unexpected detour when he was ousted as CEO from the online discount site he founded, Groupon. Now the tech executive's back on the entrepreneurial path, with an iPhone app selling unconventional audio tours of major cities. It's called – you guessed it – Detour.

6. Bankruptcies Dip Below 12,000 in 2014 -

Reflecting a national trend, Shelby County recorded a 7 percent drop in bankruptcies in 2014 compared to the previous year.

And the number of bankruptcies across the 33 Shelby County ZIP codes in 2014 was also down from 2013 and 2012 in each of the three types of bankruptcy chapters, according to The Daily News Online, memphisdailynews.com.

7. Average US Rate on 30-Year Mortgage Rises to 3.66 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week after four straight weeks of declines, while remaining near historically low levels.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage edged up to 3.66 percent from 3.63 percent last week. The new average rate is still at its lowest level since May 2013.

8. Google Fiber Expanding to 4 Southeastern Metro Areas -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Google said Tuesday it has selected four metro areas in the Southeast to receive its fiber optic service that can deliver Internet speeds at more than 50 times the national broadband average.

9. Foreclosure Sales Drop 26 Percent in Shelby County -

Fueled by a steep drop in foreclosure sales, fewer homes were sold in Shelby County in 2014 when compared to 2013.

There were 15,702 homes sold in Shelby County in 2014, down 1.2 percent from 15,896 homes sold in 2013, when Shelby County hit a five-year high in sales, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

10. Hitting the Accelerator -

Five years after the Great Recession rocked the nation and nearly destroyed auto manufacturing in Tennessee, the Midstate’s industry is booming again.

Nissan’s growth is no small part of that, largely because of the company’s confidence in the state of Tennessee and Gov. Bill Haslam, according to José Muñoz, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co. and chairman of Nissan North America, which is headquartered in Franklin.

11. US Foreclosures Fell in 2014 to Levels Before Housing Bust -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A healthier U.S. housing market and economy helped to winnow foreclosures in 2014 to levels not seen since before the housing bust.

The decline is the latest evidence of how foreclosures have diminished in recent years from a national crisis to a largely market-specific concern.

12. Vols Take Plenty of Momentum Into Offseason -

KNOXVILLE – There’s nothing like going into the offseason on a high note. The Vols will be riding the momentum from the resounding 45-28 victory against Iowa in the Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Bowl through the end of recruiting season, winter workouts, spring practices and into the summer months.

13. Average US 30-Year Loan Rate Falls to 3.73 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. mortgage rates started the year by dipping to new lows, with the benchmark 30-year rate marking its lowest level since May 2013.

The mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.73 percent this week from 3.87 percent last week.

14. US Pending Home Sales Climb in November -

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose modestly in November as a strengthening economy helped nudge some would-be homebuyers.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index climbed 0.8 percent the past month to 104.8 from a revised 104 in October. The index remains slightly below its 2013 average but is 4.1 percent higher than last November.

15. US Pending Home Sales Climb in November -

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose modestly in November as a strengthening economy helped nudge some would-be homebuyers.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index climbed 0.8 percent the past month to 104.8 from a revised 104 in October. The index remains slightly below its 2013 average but is 4.1 percent higher than last November.

16. US Consumer Spending Up Solid 0.6 Percent in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in three months in November, while income posted the best gain in five months – both encouraging signs for economic growth.

17. US Economy Accelerates, Helps Lift Dow Above 18,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A surge in U.S. economic growth lifted stocks Tuesday to record highs and showed that the United States is putting distance between itself and struggling economies around the world.

18. US Consumer Sentiment at Highest Point in 8 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers are more optimistic about the economy than at any other time in the past eight years, buoyed by more jobs and falling gas prices, a survey finds.

The University of Michigan said Tuesday that its index of consumer sentiment has jumped to 93.6 from 88.8 in November. December's reading is the highest since January 2007, nearly a year before the Great Recession officially began.

19. US New-Home Sales Fall 1.6 Percent in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new U.S. homes fell in November, evidence that recent job gains have yet to boost the housing sector.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that new home sales slid 1.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 438,000, the second straight monthly decline. October sales fell 2.2 percent to a downwardly revised rate of 445,000.

20. Knoxville Area a Magnet for Retirees -

Retired air traffic controller Sterling King moved to Knoxville when his brother needed him. Five years later, he has fallen in love with the area and everything it has to offer.

Moderate weather, without the bone-chilling Northern winters or the searing heat of Florida summers, is a big draw, along with its location in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, says King, 58, who migrated from Dayton, Ohio, to Raleigh, North Carolina, and then to Knoxville.

21. Fed Likely to Note Gains But Signal No Rate Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A resurgent U.S. economy has emerged from a long struggle with high unemployment and weak growth. And the Federal Reserve seems poised to recognize the sustained improvement.

22. Haslam Reaches Agreement to Expand Medicaid in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he has reached a deal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after more than a year of discussions with federal officials.

The Republican's administration touted the plan as an alternative deal with federal officials. The two-year pilot program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans.

23. US Trade Deficit Drops to $43.4 Billion in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit fell slightly in October as exports rebounded while oil imports dipped to the lowest level in five years.

The deficit edged down 0.4 percent to $43.4 billion, a drop from a revised $43.6 billion in September, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

24. US Pending Home Sales Slip in October -

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes fell slightly in October as tight credit and lagging wages remained financial hurdles for would-be homebuyers.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 1.1 percent in the past month to 104.1. The index remains below its 2013 average but is 2.2 percent higher than last October.

25. More-Confident US Households Step Up Borrowing -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are slowly but steadily borrowing more money, bringing to an end a five-year effort to cut household debt that has slowed consumer spending and the economy.

26. Wish Granted: Same Day Delivery for the Holidays -

NEW YORK (AP) – A procrastinator's holiday wish come true: Presents ordered at the last minute can now show up under the Christmas tree that same day.

Amazon, Target and Macy's and other retailers are offering speedier delivery, including overnight and same-day options that will continue even past the holidays.

27. US Consumer Spending Down 0.2 Percent in September -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer cut spending in September for the first time in eight months, as incomes grew at the slowest pace this year. The figures underscore nagging economic soft spots that are expected to ease in the coming months.

28. Nashville Serves Lesson in Equality Via Steam Table -

Attending the Southern Foodways Alliance symposium meant homework before class. Leading up to the meeting, we received a list of about 14 articles, 26 books, two thesis papers, five oral histories and nine films to help put the talks and meals we would have into context.

29. Real Estate Rally -

Commercial real estate can offer insight into the strength of the local economy. Through the office, retail, industrial and apartment developments that mark the region the economy at work in the real world can be seen.

30. Average 30-Year Loan Rate Up to 3.98 Percent -

Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates arrested their five-week decline this week but the benchmark 30-year loan remained below 4 percent.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage rose to 3.98 percent from 3.92 percent last week. It remained at its lowest level since June 2013. The rate stood at 4.53 percent back in January.

31. Grizzlies Brass Has Challenge In Analyzing Player Minutes -

It took but a single game for one of the Memphis Grizzlies’ main dilemmas to present itself. Namely, what’s a coach to do when his starters are playing well and the bench is giving him almost nothing?

32. Small Business Divided Over Minimum Wage Votes -

NEW YORK (AP) – Workers in five states could get a raise after Election Day.

Some small business owners say raising the minimum wage will pressure their companies, forcing them to cut employees' hours or jobs. Others say it's the right thing to do for workers and the economy.

33. US Home Price Gains Slow for Fourth Straight Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices grew more slowly in August amid modest sales, a trend that could help make homes more affordable in the months ahead.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, rose 5.6 percent in August from 12 months earlier. That's down from 6.7 percent in July and the smallest gain since November 2012. Home prices were rising at a double-digit pace as recently as March.

34. How Well Did the Fed's Stimulus Work? -

NEW YORK (AP) – Soaring inflation. A collapsing dollar. Bubbles in financial markets that would soon pop. One presidential candidate even suggested that the Federal Reserve chairman should be roughed up.

35. US Pending Home Sales Rise Slightly in September -

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes ticked up only slightly in September, as it remained difficult to qualify for mortgage financing.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.3 percent over the past month to 105. The index remains half a percentage point below its 2013 average, although 1 percent higher than a year ago.

36. US New-Home Sales Close to Flat in September -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes were nearly flat in September, after the government sharply revised downward what was initially an August surge in buying.

New-home sales edged up 0.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The report also revised down the August sales rate to 466,000 from 504,000.

37. China Economy Grows at Slowest Pace in 5 Years -

BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth waned to a five-year low of 7.3 percent last quarter, raising concerns of a spillover effect on the global economy but falling roughly in line with Chinese leaders' plans for a controlled slowdown.

38. Schools Leaders Move Toward Cooperation -

As the Achievement School District weighs a short list of a dozen low-performing Memphis schools for the state-run school district in the next school year, Shelby County Schools officials are involved in the selection process far more than they have been in past years.

39. Bankruptcies Top 3,000 After Second-Quarter Dip -

After a second quarter in which bankruptcy filings dipped below 3,000 for the first time since 2011, the total number of filings for the Memphis area rose slightly above 3,000.

Between July 1 and Sept. 30, there were 3,135 filings by individuals or businesses with a Shelby County address in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee, according to The Daily News Online, memphisdailynews.com.

40. Ailing Global Economy Could Lead Fed to Delay Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just as the U.S. job market has finally strengthened, the Federal Reserve now confronts a new worry: A sputtering global economy that's spooked investors across the world.

41. Review Site Yelp Battles Extortion Claims -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – First the chefs of a small Italian restaurant got mad at online review site Yelp. Instead of trying to get better reviews, they decided to take a different approach: get terrible ones.

42. US Mortgage Rates Down for Third Straight Week -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, making it more affordable to borrow to buy a home.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan fell to 4.12 percent from 4.19 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, also declined to 3.3 percent from 3.36 percent.

43. Five Alternative Ways to Give Back -

The giving season is upon us. For many nonprofits, hospitals, schools, and colleges the next three months are all about fundraising. You will no doubt see an increase in direct mail and e-mail solicitations, Facebook campaigns, billboards, print and TV commercials and personal asks made by of you by friends, family members and associates.

44. 5 Mysteries of US Job Market Waiting to be Solved -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just how healthy is the U.S. job market?

Despite steady hiring and falling unemployment, the question has provoked sharp debate and considerable uncertainty on the eve of the September jobs report.

45. Triumph Bank Surpasses $500 Million in Assets -

Triumph Bank didn’t choose its new tagline, “Let’s talk growth,” earlier this year only because it sounded hopeful or was an ideal to strive for.

46. Contracts to Buy US Homes Slide in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in August, suggesting that real estate sales will remain sluggish over the next few months.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 1 percent over the past month to 104.7. Higher prices and weak wage growth has limited buying, as the index is 2.2 percent below its level from a year ago.

47. US Consumer Spending Up 0.5 Percent in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans boosted spending by a healthy amount in August, offering welcome evidence that the economy is on solid footing heading into the final quarter of the year.

Consumer spending in August rose 0.5 percent from the previous month after showing no gain in July, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the best result since spending also expanded 0.5 percent in June.

48. ATM Fees Keep Climbing, Survey Says -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The penalty for using an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank rose 5 percent over the past year.

The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM climbed to a new high of $4.35 per transaction, according to a survey released Monday by Bankrate.com. That figure includes $2.77 that banks charge non-customers and $1.58 that banks levy against their own customers for using an outside ATM.

49. US Existing Home Sales Fall in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans bought homes in August, as investors retreated from real estate and first-time buyers remained scarce.

Sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. That snaps a four-month streak of gains. August sales are down from a July rate of 5.14 million, a figure that was revised slightly downward.

50. Volatile Apartment Sector Reduces US Home Building -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home construction plunged in August, led by steep decline in the volatile apartment category. But single-family house construction, a larger and more stable portion of the market, fell only modestly.

51. Stock Gains Lift US Household Wealth to Record High -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Strong stock market gains and higher home prices boosted Americans' net worth in the April-June quarter to a record high, a trend that could encourage more spending.

U.S. households also took on the most new debt in five years, driven mostly by student and auto loans. More borrowing can be a sign of confidence, although greater student debt can pose a burden for younger households.

52. Coverage Gap Leaves Rural Tennessee Hospitals on Life Support -

Four rural hospitals have closed and dozens are at risk of shuttering: That’s the fallout, some say, from Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision not to join the Affordable Care Act in 2013 and tap into millions in promised federal funds for Tennessee’s financially-strapped health care institutions.

53. Cardinals Finding Way Back to Playoffs -

Everyone always says the expectations are highest in their clubhouse. But when the St. Louis Cardinals say it, well, it has a certain depth. The past decade has seen seven playoff trips and two World Series championships. And this season, the Cardinals are hunting their fourth straight Red October.

54. Woeful Period for US Markets -

September 8, 2014, S&P 2000 = 11 + 4 percent + 11 percent + 1.5 percent + 2.5 percent. The last five years have been consistently wonderful for the U.S. markets. Over the time period, the S&P 500 has advanced more than 17 percent annually. Only four bull markets (advances uninterrupted by a 20 percent decline) have lasted longer and returned more. What has this bull been eating?

55. About That Raise... US Executives Feeling Tight-Fisted -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The corporate executives who decide whether U.S. workers get meaningful raises have looked at the broader economy and have a message: Don't expect a pay increase anytime soon.

56. The Dollar Strikes Back -

Movements between the dollar, euro, and yen profoundly impact global flows of goods and capital. Given recent language and policy shifts from the U.S. Federal Reserve (FED), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ), let’s re-examine global currency trends.

57. Shelby County New-Home Permits Drop 7.8 Percent in July -

The local homebuilding industry can still mystify a veteran builder and developer like David Goodwin Jr.

Goodwin and other homebuilders expected 2014 to be a healthy year for the industry, especially entering the spring and early summer.

58. Applications for US Unemployment Aid Fall to 298,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, another sign the job market is improving.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly claims for jobless aid fell 14,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 298,000. The prior week's figures were revised up slightly to 311,000.

59. Consumer Prices Edge Up 0.1 Percent in July -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer prices rose in July at the slowest pace in five months, held back by a drop in gasoline prices.

Consumer prices edged up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent last month, after larger gains of 0.3 percent in June and 0.4 percent in May, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. It was the smallest increase since a similar 0.1 percent rise in February.

60. Wal-Mart Cuts Profit Outlook -

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its annual profit outlook on Thursday amid sluggish sales, higher-than-expected health care costs and the need to invest more in its e-commerce operations.

61. Amazon Debuts Mobile Payment App and Card Reader -

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon is taking direct aim at mobile payment systems such as Square by introducing the Amazon Local Register, a credit-card processing device and mobile app designed to help small business owners accept payments through their smartphones and tablets.

62. US Productivity Recovers After Steep First-Quarter Fall -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. workers were more productive in the April-June quarter and labor costs rose slightly, a sharp turnaround from grim first-quarter figures.

The Labor Department said Friday that that productivity increased 2.5 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, after plummeting 4.5 percent in the first quarter. That was the steepest drop in 31 years, and reflected a sharp 2.1 percent contraction in the economy. Economists blamed most of that shrinkage on temporary factors, such as harsh weather and a cutback in stockpiling by businesses.

63. Fannie, Freddie Post Profits in Second Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted profits for the April-June period as the U.S. housing market continued to recover. Gains in recent years have enabled them to fully repay their government aid after being rescued during the financial crisis in 2008.

64. US Job Growth Eases but Tops 200,000 for a Sixth Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sixth straight month of solid 200,000-plus job growth in July reinforced growing evidence that the U.S. economy is accelerating after five years of sluggish expansion.

65. As US Job Market Strengthens, Many Don't Feel It -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For millions of workers, happy days aren't quite here again.

Though the U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent, the Gallup Organization has found that consumers' view of the economy is the glummest it's been in seven months.

66. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate at 4.12 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, hovering near their lows for the year.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan slipped to 4.12 percent from 4.13 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, declined to 3.23 percent from 3.26 percent last week.

67. More Vigorous US Economy Appears to Be Emerging -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.

That was the general view of analysts Wednesday after the government estimated that the economy grew at a fast 4 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. Consumers, businesses and governments joined to fuel the second-quarter expansion. The government also said growth was more robust last year than it had previously estimated.

68. Fed Weighs Key Issues But May Reveal Little -

WASHINGTON (AP) — This much is clear: The Federal Reserve will make another cut this week in its monthly bond purchases, which have been aimed at keeping long-term loan rates low.

This much is not: When will the Fed start tightening its interest-rate policy to thwart any runaway inflation? How will it do so? And when will the Fed start paring its enormous $4 trillion-plus investment portfolio — a step that will put upward pressure on interest rates?

69. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate at 4.13 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates were stable to slightly higher this week, remaining near their lows for the year.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan was 4.13 percent, unchanged from last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, edged up to 3.26 percent from 3.23 percent last week.

70. Across US Job Market, Layoffs are Becoming Rare -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.

As the U.S. economy has improved and employers have regained confidence, companies have been steadily shedding fewer workers. Which is why applications for unemployment benefits have dwindled to their lowest level since February 2006 – nearly two years before the Great Recession began – the government said Thursday.

71. IMF Sees US Growth at Weakest Since Recession -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. economic growth this year will likely be at the weakest pace since the Great Recession ended, the International Monetary Fund said, mostly because of a sharp, weather-related contraction in the first quarter.

72. US Economy, Though Sluggish, May Now Be Sturdier -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged.

That conclusion, one held by a growing number of economists, might surprise many people. After all, in the five years since the recession officially ended, Americans' pay has basically stagnated. Millions remain unemployed or have abandoned their job searches. Economic growth is merely plodding along.

73. US Home Sales Increase 2.6 Percent in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of previously owned homes rose for a third straight month in June, pushing activity to the highest level in eight months and providing evidence that housing is regaining lost momentum.

74. 30-Year Mortgage Rate Near Historic Low -

Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, with rates remaining near historic lows.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan dipped to 4.13 percent, down from 4.15 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, edged down to 3.23 percent, compared with 3.24 percent last week.

75. 30-Year Mortgage Rate Near Historic Low -

Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, with rates remaining near historic lows.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan dipped to 4.13 percent, down from 4.15 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, edged down to 3.23 percent, compared with 3.24 percent last week.

76. Bankruptcy Filings Drop Below 3,000 -

For the first time since 2011, the number of Memphis-area bankruptcies filed in the second quarter dropped below 3,000.

Between April 1 and June 30, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee saw 2,959 bankruptcies in which the person or business listed a Shelby County address. That’s a 6.4 percent decrease from the 3,164 filed during the second quarter of 2013, according to The Daily News Online, memphisdailynews.com.

77. Latest Fed Survey Sees Improved Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy kept expanding in all regions of the country in June and early July, helped by strength in consumer spending, a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday indicates.

78. Ehrhart Touts Liberty Bowl to SEC Schools -

HOOVER, Ala. – Steve Ehrhart has work to do.

The 56th AutoZone Liberty Bowl isn’t until Dec. 29, but the bowl’s executive director knows the time is now to make his case to SEC athletic directors.

79. Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the economic recovery is not yet complete and for that reason the Fed intends to keep providing significant support to boost growth and improve labor market conditions.

80. Downside of Low US Mortgage Rates: Less Selling -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Would-be home sellers across the country are grappling with a once-in-a-lifetime problem: They have mortgage rates so absurdly low it would hurt them financially to sell.

81. Economists Lower Forecasts for US Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. business economists have sharply cut their growth forecasts for the April-June quarter and 2014, though they remain optimistic that the economy will rebound from a dismal first quarter.

82. US Unemployment Aid Applications Fall to 304,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, driving down the level of applications to nearly the lowest in seven years.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's not far from a reading of 298,000 two months ago, which was the lowest since 2007, before the Great Recession began.

83. US Companies Post Most Jobs in 7 Years in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers advertised more jobs in May than in any month in the past seven years, a sign that this year's strong hiring trend is likely to continue.

More Americans also quit their jobs, a good sign because it usually occurs when workers find new and higher-paying jobs. It also opens up more positions for those out of work.

84. How GM's Ignition Switch Redesign Went Wrong -

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors' deadly ignition switch flaws emerged from an effort to improve its cars.

As the company began developing new small cars in the late 1990s, it listened to customers who complained about "cheap-feeling" switches that required too much effort to turn. GM set about making switches that would work more smoothly and give drivers the impression that they were better designed, a GM switch engineer testified in a lawsuit deposition in the spring of 2013.

85. Why a Grim US Economic Picture is Brightening -

WASHINGTON (AP) – When the government updates its estimate Wednesday of how the U.S. economy fared last quarter, the number is pretty sure to be ugly. Horrible even.

The economy likely shrank at an annual rate of nearly 2 percent in the January-March quarter, economists estimate. That would be its bleakest performance since early 2009 in the depths of the Great Recession.

86. Calm Amidst the ‘Storm’ -

The S&P 500 continues to inch ever so closer to the 2,000 mark, while volatility measures remain historically low. Furthermore, there have been 43 consecutive days where the S&P 500 has registered a daily return mark within the -1 percent to +1 percent band.

87. CEOs More Optimistic on Hiring, Sales -

Optimism among chief executives of large U.S. companies has reached a two-year high, driven by a more positive outlook toward hiring and sales.

The Business Roundtable said Tuesday that its CEO outlook index rose to 95.4 in the second quarter, up from 92.1 in the first quarter. That is the highest level since the second quarter of 2012.

88. Parking Wars -

It’s been a hot, humid and restless spring at Overton Park.

The park has been crowded, but not as crowded as expected given the political tempest over parking on Overton’s greensward.

89. CEOs More Optimistic on Hiring, Sales -

Optimism among chief executives of large U.S. companies has reached a two-year high, driven by a more positive outlook toward hiring and sales.

The Business Roundtable said Tuesday that its CEO outlook index rose to 95.4 in the second quarter, up from 92.1 in the first quarter. That is the highest level since the second quarter of 2012.

90. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Up to 4.20 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week for a second straight week but remained near historic lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year loan increased to 4.20 percent from 4.14 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage jumped to 3.31 percent from 3.23 percent.

91. Pay Raises Go Mainly to Those in Select Industries -

NEW YORK (AP) – If you hope to get a raise that finally feels like one, it helps to work in the right industry.

Historically, at this stage in the economy's recovery, pay would be rising in most sectors. But five years after the Great Recession officially ended, raises remain sharply uneven across industries and, as a whole, have barely kept up with prices. Overall pay has been rising about 2 percent a year, roughly equal to inflation.

92. US Businesses Ramped Up Job Searches in April -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. companies advertised more jobs in April than in any month in six and a half years, a possible harbinger of strong hiring in the months ahead.

Employers posted nearly 4.5 million jobs, up strongly from 4.2 million in March, the Labor Department said Tuesday. It's the largest number of job listings since September 2007.

93. US Employers Add 217,000 Jobs; Rate Stays at 6.3 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers added 217,000 jobs in May, a substantial gain for a fourth straight month, fueling hopes that the economy will accelerate after a grim start to the year.

94. Finals Presents Intriguing Question About Coaching -

So if the Miami Heat win a third straight NBA championship, it’s all about LeBron James and a cast of future Hall-of-Famers that includes Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and, in a lot of people’s view, Chris Bosh.

95. US Home Price Gains Slow in April Amid Tepid Sales -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose in April compared with a year earlier, but the increase was the smallest annual gain in 14 months. Price gains have slowed this year as sales have faltered.

96. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to 4.14 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for a fourth straight week. The low rates could give a boost to the spring home-buying season, which has started slowly.

97. US Home Sales Rose 1.3 Percent in April -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of existing U.S. homes rebounded slightly in April, but the pace of buying remained below last year's level.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales rose 1.3 percent from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million. Purchases of homes over the past 12 months have dropped 6.8 percent.

98. US Home Building Climbed 13.2 Percent in April -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S home construction surged in April to its highest pace in five months. Almost all that increase came from the volatile apartment sector, a sign that Americans are still struggling to buy single-family homes.

99. Unemployment Rates Below 6 Percent in 25 US States -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Unemployment rates fell in nearly all U.S. states last month, and half the states now have rates below 6 percent. The figures are a sign of widespread, if slow, improvement in the nation's job market.

100. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Dips to 4.2 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week for a third straight week. The low rates could give a boost to the spring home-buying season, which has gotten off to a slow start.