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Editorial Results (free)

1. Basar Says Commission Past 'Storming' Phase -

Shelby County Commissioners haven’t resolved all of their differences from the start of their term of office in September, but county commissioner Steve Basar says they are on their way.

“If you look at group dynamics, there’s usually a little bit of a phase up front where people are kind of feeling each other out,” Basar said on the WKNO TV program Behind The Headlines. “You have the forming and then you have the storming and then you have norming and performing. I think right now we are starting to move into that performing phase.”

2. Edison Park Finds Ally in Habitat for Humanity -

This Thanksgiving marks two years that Aisha Lbhalla, her husband and their two young sons have lived in Edison Park.

They have a single-family home that backs up to her older son’s school, Thomas A. Edison Elementary. The house has four bedrooms, brick facing, a garage and nearly 1,500 square feet, Lbhalla says.

3. US Home Sales Rise in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans bought homes in October at the briskest pace this year, a sign that the sluggish housing market is turning around.

Sales of existing homes rose 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million last month, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That's up from a revised pace of 5.18 million in September. October marked the first month in 2014 when sales increased compared to a year ago, registering a 2.5 percent gain.

4. US Economy Rallies to Solid Third-Quarter Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy powered its way to a respectable growth rate of 3.5 percent from July through September, outpacing most of the developed world and on track to extend the momentum through the end of the year and beyond.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. US Housing Recovery Appears to be Back on Track -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.

8. US Home Price Gains Slow for Sixth Straight Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in May from a year earlier at the weakest pace in 15 months as sales remain modest in the spring buying season.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, increased 9.3 percent in May from 12 months earlier. That's down from 10.8 percent in the previous month and the smallest annual gain since February 2013.

9. Contractors See Bright Days Ahead -

After slogging their way through the deepest economic slump in more than 60 years, Memphis area contractors say the near future looks much brighter than the dark days of the recession and its immediate aftermath.

10. Uphill Climb -

Shelby County’s homebuilding industry is off to a slow start in 2014, with builders filing 16.6 percent fewer permits in the second quarter than in the same three-month period a year ago.

Builders filed 245 permits in Shelby County in the second quarter, compared with 294 permits in the second quarter of 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Builders filed 191 permits in the first quarter.

11. Construction Spending Up 0.1 Percent in May -

U.S. construction spending barely increased in May as gains in spending on non-residential projects such as office buildings and public construction were largely offset by a big drop in home building.

12. Problem Solvers -

Rick Smith is director of property management for Finard Properties, the commercial real estate firm that owns and manages properties such as the landmark Poplar Plaza shopping center at Poplar Avenue and Highland Street.

13. Construction Spending Up 0.1 Percent in May -

U.S. construction spending barely increased in May as gains in spending on non-residential projects such as office buildings and public construction were largely offset by a big drop in home building.

14. Economy Shrank at Steep 2.9 Percent Rate in First Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy shrank at a steep annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the biggest contraction since the depths of the recession five years ago. But the setback is widely thought to be temporary, with growth rebounding solidly since spring.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. Fed Survey: Economy Showing Improvement Across US -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Federal Reserve survey shows the U.S. economy strengthening over the past two months in areas from manufacturing and construction to retail sales and bank lending.

Seven of the Fed's 12 regions – Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco – reported "moderate" growth during the early spring, while the remaining five described growth as "modest," according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday.

18. US Construction Spending Up 0.2 Percent in April -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. construction spending posted modest gains in April, driven by an uptick in home building and government construction that lifted total activity to the highest level in five years.

19. US Consumer Confidence Moved Up in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers were slightly more confident in the economy in May than in April, partly because of strengthening optimism about future hiring and income gains.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index rose to 83 from a revised 81.7 in April. That's the second-highest reading since January 2008, just after the Great Recession began. Only March was higher at 83.9.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to 4.21 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for a second straight week as the spring home-buying season has gotten off to a slow start.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan declined to 4.21 percent from 4.29 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.32 percent from 3.38 percent.

24. American Economy Bounces Back From Brutal Winter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The American economy shrugged off the end of a brutal winter last month, rebounding with the biggest hiring surge in two years and suggesting that the job market's gains could endure.

25. Contracts to Buy Homes Up, First Time Since June -

More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, the first increase since June and a sign that the housing market might pick up after a sluggish start to the year.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 3.4 percent to 97.4 last month. Still, the index remains 7.9 percent below its level a year ago.

26. US Economy Slows to 0.1 Percent Growth Rate -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity. The slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.

27. Contracts to Buy Homes Up, First Time Since June -

More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, the first increase since June and a sign that the housing market might pick up after a sluggish start to the year.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 3.4 percent to 97.4 last month. Still, the index remains 7.9 percent below its level a year ago.

28. Sales of US Existing Homes Slip to 20-Month Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in March to their lowest level since July 2012 as rising prices and a tight supply of available homes discouraged many would-be buyers.

29. 30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to 4.27 Percent -

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

30. 30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to 4.27 Percent -

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

31. Fed Survey: Growth Picks Up Across Most of US -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth picking up across most of the United States over the past two months as bitter winter weather subsided.

Ten of the Fed's 12 regions reported an increase in economic activity, according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday. In most places, the Fed described the improvement as "modest or moderate." Only Cleveland and St. Louis reported slower growth.

32. Mortgage Market Sees Small First-Quarter Gains -

Shelby County’s mortgage market started off 2014 a bit tame, not as chilly as the weather but not exactly bursting with energy either.

Local banks and mortgage lenders made 1,617 purchase mortgages during the first quarter, flat compared with the 1,624 mortgages during first quarter 2013, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

33. US Home Market: Few Buyers and Not Enough Sellers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Entering the 2014 spring buying season, the U.S. housing market faces an unusual dilemma: Too few people are selling homes. Yet too few buyers can afford the homes that are for sale.

34. US Service Firms Grow More Quickly, Boost Hiring -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service firms expanded more quickly last month as new orders rose and hiring increased, a positive sign the economy is rebounding after an unusually cold winter.

35. US Home Prices Dip in January for 3rd Straight Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices dipped in January for a third straight month, likely because of slower sales in recent months caused by cold weather, a limited supply of homes and higher mortgage rates.

36. US Home Construction Falls for 3rd Month in Feb. -

U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months.

Builders started work on 907,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down a slight 0.2 percent from January, when construction had fallen 11.2 percent. The declines have been blamed in large part on severe winter weather in much of the country.

37. US Home Construction Falls for 3rd Month in February -

U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months.

Builders started work on 907,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down a slight 0.2 percent from January, when construction had fallen 11.2 percent. The declines have been blamed in large part on severe winter weather in much of the country.

38. US Homebuilder Confidence Edges Higher in March -

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market edged higher this month, reflecting improved demand for new homes as the traditional spring home-selling season ramps up.

But the outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months dimmed slightly as builders continue to grapple with a shortage of skilled workers, ready-to-build land and rising building materials costs.

39. US Employers Posted More Open Jobs in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers advertised slightly more jobs in January than in December, a sign that hiring should remain steady in coming months.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers posted 3.9 million job openings, up 1.5 percent from December. That is still below November's nearly six-year high of 4.1 million, the first month that openings topped 4 million since March 2008.

40. Blast of Winter Weather Can't Faze US Employers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Brutal winter weather snarled traffic, canceled flights and cut power to homes and factories in February. Yet it didn't faze U.S. employers, who added 175,000 jobs, far more than the two previous months.

41. Editorial: Let City’s Innovative Ideas Flow Outward -

So many Memphians are working on so many parts of the same general movement that it’s only natural there would be a tendency to question whether all of those efforts toward a more innovative Memphis could be folded into each other or consolidated in some way.

42. Grinder Looks to Bring Energy to Associated Builders Role -

Justin Grinder knew at an early age that he wanted to be involved in the construction industry.

43. US Applications for Jobless Aid Reach 3-Month Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the lowest level in three months as layoffs remain at pre-recession levels.

44. US Service Sector Grew at Slower Pace in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies expanded more slowly in February as hiring levels declined in a cautionary sign for the economy coming out of winter.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its service-sector index fell to 51.6 from 54 in January. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

45. Estimated Q4 Economic Growth Rate Cut to 2.4 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate last quarter, sharply less than first thought, in part because consumers didn't spend as much as initially estimated.

46. US Home Prices Dip for Second Straight Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices fell for the second straight month in December as brutally cold weather, tight supply and higher costs slowed sales.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index declined 0.1 percent from November to December, matching the previous month's decline. The index is not adjusted for seasonal variations, so the dip partly reflects slower buying as winter weather set in.

47. Average 30-Year US Mortgage Rate Up to 4.33 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.33 percent from 4.28 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage edged up to 3.35 percent from 3.33 percent.

48. US Housing Construction Down 16 Percent in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home construction fell in January for a second month but the weakness in both months reflected severe winter weather in many parts of the country. The expectation is that housing will deliver another year of solid gains, helped by an improving economy.

49. US Service Sector Expands on Gain in New Orders -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies expanded at a slightly faster pace in January. New orders, sales and hiring showed strength in a sign that financial firms, retailers and information technology companies foresee stronger growth.

50. Fed: US Economic Growth Healthy Over Holidays -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth remained healthy in most U.S. regions in late November and December, helped by gains in consumer spending and factory output.

51. US Services Index Slips on Sharp Fall in Orders -

U.S. service companies expanded at a steady but slightly slower pace in December as sales dipped and new orders plunged to a four-year low. The report suggests economic growth may remain modest in the coming months.

52. US Services Index Slips On Sharp Fall in Orders -

U.S. service companies expanded at a steady but slightly slower pace in December as sales dipped and new orders plunged to a four-year low. The report suggests economic growth may remain modest in the coming months.

53. Handful of Projects on Horizon, but Construction Still Struggling -

Commercial real estate construction activity in the Mid-South perked up modestly this year following a sluggish 2011 and 2012, and industry execs are cautiously optimistic that the positive trajectory will continue through next year.

54. Dollywood to Build Resort, Add Shows and Rides -

NASHVILLE (AP) – To see the future of Dollywood, you need to borrow the vision of its chief imaginer, Dolly Parton.

In the near future, Parton sees a resort hotel lobby with a three-story window that frames Mount LeConte – one of the tallest peaks in the Smoky Mountains. Guests will be able to book a grand suite in the hotel that the entertainer uses when she stays in the Pigeon Forge theme park that bears her name.

55. Downtown Design Guidelines Close to Reality -

After nearly two years in the planning stage, new standards for guiding how development Downtown should occur are getting closer to becoming a reality.

The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board will vote Wednesday, Aug. 7, on the design guidelines, with the commission’s full board expected to vote Aug. 22.

56. US Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall to 346,000 -

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 11,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, a level consistent with steady job growth.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications dropped from 357,000 the previous week, which was revised up from an initially reported 354,000. The less volatile four-week average rose 4,500 to 352,500.

57. Survey: US Private Employers Add 135,000 Jobs in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey shows U.S. businesses added just 135,000 jobs in May, the second straight month of weak gains.

Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that May's gain was above April's revised total of 113,000. But it's much lower than the gains ADP reported over the winter, which averaged more than 200,000 a month from November through February.

58. US Home Prices Up Most in Nearly 7 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose 9.3 percent in February compared with a year ago, the most in nearly seven years. The gains were driven by a growing number of buyers who bid on a limited supply of homes.

59. Sales of New US Homes Slip 4.6 Percent in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new homes fell in February after climbing to the highest level in more than four years in January.

Sales of new homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That is a decline of 4.6 percent from the January level of 431,000, which had been the strongest sales pace since September 2008.

60. Automakers Report Growing US Sales in February -

DETROIT (AP) – Americans want new cars and trucks, and they're not going to let higher gas prices or political dysfunction in Washington stand in their way.

General Motors, Toyota, Ford and most other automakers posted at least modest sales gains for February. Industry analysts estimate last month's sales rose about 7 percent from a year earlier as pent-up demand and cheap financing kept the U.S. auto sales recovery powering along.

61. US Home Prices Rose Last Year by Most in 6.5 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices jumped by the most in 6.5 years in December, spurred by a low supply of available homes and rising demand.

Home prices rose 8.3 percent in December compared with a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday from CoreLogic, a real estate data provider. That is the biggest annual gain since May 2006. Prices rose last year in 46 of 50 states.

62. Events -

Nike Inc. will host construction symposiums for locally owned small, women-owned and minority businesses Thursday, Feb. 7, and Friday, Feb. 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the U of M Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 N. Front St. Attendees will learn about construction opportunities at Nike’s Memphis expansion. R.S.V.P. to Brenda Montgomery at bmontgomery@memphischamber.com or 543-3500.

63. US Home Prices Accelerate in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices accelerated in November compared with a year ago, pushed higher by rising sales and a tighter supply of available homes.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.5 percent in November compared with the same month a year ago. That's the largest year-over-year gain in six years.

64. Fairway Manor to Rise in Westwood -

An $8.5 million public housing project called Fairway Manor soon will break ground in Westwood’s 38109 ZIP code.

The facility at 12 W. Fairway Ave. will include a three-story senior living space and a seven-building townhouse apartment complex with clubhouse. The 110,000-square-foot project will contain 96 units between the two properties.

65. MemShop Latest Boon for Overton Square -

A year ago, Loeb Properties Inc. was granted the green light from Memphis City Council for the funds necessary to construct a parking lot and detention pond west of Cooper Street – the last component in the more than $30 million public/private partnership to revitalize the once thriving Overton Square district.

66. Analysts Expect Auto Sales to Stay Strong in September -

DETROIT (AP) – Whether it's out of necessity or desire, Americans continued to buy cars and trucks at a strong pace in September, according to industry analysts.

Data from dealerships across the nation show that new vehicle sales should hit an annual rate of 14.5 million vehicles for the month, continuing a rebound that began in June, according to J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive.

67. US Economy Picks Up After Early Spring Slump -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Maybe the U.S. economy's strength this winter wasn't just weather-related after all.

Home construction is near a three-year high. And factory output has risen in three of the year's first four months.

68. Unemployment Apps Decline -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits ticked down last week following a sharp drop the previous week.

Applications are falling again after rising for most of April, suggesting hiring could pick up this month.

69. A Weaker First Quarter Doesn't Mean a Weak Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew more slowly in the first three months of this year. Governments spent less, and businesses cut back on investment. But consumers spent at the fastest pace in more than a year.

70. Foreclosures Squeezing US Home Prices and Sales -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rising foreclosures are weighing on the U.S. housing market, reducing prices and keeping new-home sales weak.

Foreclosed homes are usually sold at steep discounts, thereby lowering average prices. And by expanding the supply of low-priced previously occupied homes, foreclosures tend to limit demand for new homes.

71. US Homebuilders Request Most Permits Since September 2008 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. builders requested the most permits in March for single-family homes and apartments in 3½ years, suggesting that many expect the housing market to improve over the next year.

72. Employers Posted More Job Openings in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Employers posted slightly more job openings in February, suggesting that modest hiring gains will continue in coming months.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers advertised 3.5 million job openings in February. That's up from a revised 3.48 million in January but still below the three-year high of 3.54 million in December.

73. US Hiring Slows Amid Uncertainty About Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. job market slowed in March as companies hit the brakes on hiring amid uncertainty about the economy's growth prospects. The unemployment rate dipped, but mostly because more Americans stopped looking for work.

74. MEM Sees 1.3M Fewer Passengers in 2011 -

Memphis International Airport saw about 1.3 million fewer passengers in a challenging 2011, but about the same amount of cargo for the calendar year.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board reviewed the numbers and took stock of projects in the year ahead when they met Thursday, Jan. 19.

75. Rising Factory Output Gives Economy a Lift -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factories are roaring back from the depths of the recession, cranking out more machinery, vehicles and energy.

Factory production has surged 15 percent above its lows of 2½ years ago and is helping drive the economy's recovery.

76. Home Sales Up 2 Percent For October -

October home sales in Shelby County inched 2 percent higher compared to the same month a year ago, marking the fourth consecutive month with year-over-year improvement.

Shelby County registered 1,073 home sales last month, compared to 1,011 in October 2010, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

77. Grant to Aid Tupelo Runway Project -

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – Tupelo Regional Airport is getting some financial assistance for its runway extension.

The Federal Aviation Administration is providing a $544,079 grant to go to the design of the extension and a wildlife hazard assessment to identify type and population of animals near the airport and their activities.

78. New-Home Sales Up, But Pace Remains Sluggish -

WASHINGTON (AP) – More people bought new homes for a second straight month in April, a hopeful sign. Still, sales remain far below a pace that would signal a turnaround for the depressed housing market.

79. Memphis Engineers Make Green Progress -

Environmentally speaking, Memphis engineers are making progress. Two years ago, Davis Patrikios Criswell Inc., a Memphis-based engineering firm, was in charge of the construction of the TERRA House, a structure that was built through the cooperative efforts of the University of Memphis and the United States Department of Architecture.

80. Economy Slowed by High Gas Prices, Bad Weather -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. High gas prices cut into consumer spending, bad weather delayed construction projects and the federal government slashed defense spending by the most in six years.

81. New-Home Sales Plunged in February to Record Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new homes plunged in February to the slowest pace on records dating back nearly half a century, a dismal sign for an already-weak housing market.

New-home sales fell 16.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 homes, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It's the third straight monthly decline and far below the 700,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.

82. Home Sales Fell 9.6 Pct. in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought previously occupied homes in February and those who did purchased them at steep discounts. The weak sales and rise in foreclosures pushed home prices down to their lowest level in nearly 9 years.

83. Unemployment Rises in Nearly All Metro Areas -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Unemployment rose in nearly all large U.S. cities in January compared to the previous month, mostly because of seasonal changes such as the layoff of temporary retail employees hired for the holidays.

84. Wholesale Prices Spike on Steep Rise in Food, Oil -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Higher energy costs and the steepest rise in food prices in nearly four decades drove wholesale prices up last month by the most in nearly two years. Excluding those categories, inflation was tame.

85. New-Home Sales in January Drop 12.6 Pct -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes fell significantly in January, a dismal sign after the worst year for that sector in nearly a half-century.

New-home sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 284,000 homes last month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That's down from 325,000 in December and less than half the 600,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.

86. Factory Output Grows for 5th Straight Month in Jan. -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Factories produced more goods for the fifth straight month in January as strong auto sales spurred demand for new cars and trucks. But overall industrial production fell for the first time in 19 months.

87. Gone Cold -

School children welcomed Jack Frost on Wednesday afternoon and the three to five inches of snow he brought with him, but for business owners, the snow that caused hazardous road conditions and closures across the city also caused dollar signs to melt like icicles in the sun.

88. Construction Unemployment Jumps to 22.5 Pct. in January -

Despite a slight decrease in the national unemployment rate, job losses continue to mount in the construction industry as the unemployment rate rose to 22.5 percent in January, according to the Feb. 4 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

89. Builders Began Work On Fewer Projects in 2010 -

Builders began work on fewer homes, shopping centers and other projects in 2010, pushing total building activity down to the lowest point in a decade.

Construction spending dropped 10.3 percent last year, marking the fifth annual decline, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It fell to $814.18 billion in 2010, the lowest level since 2000.

90. 2010 Ends as 2nd Worst Year for Home Construction -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Builders began work last year on the second fewest number of homes in more than half a century, as the weak economy kept people from buying houses.

Builders broke ground on a total of 587,600 homes in 2010, just barely better than the 554,000 started in 2009. Those are the two worst years on records dating back to 1959.

91. Artist Brown Draws Inspiration From Gardens -

Whether it’s photographs, murals or public installations, professional artist Tobacco Brown loves gardening so much that even during the off-season she makes sure she’s working with horticulture in some form.

92. Hiring Outlook Brightens as Layoffs Decline -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits over the past month has reached its lowest point since July 2008, raising hopes that hiring is about to accelerate.

93. Unemployment Rises in Two-Thirds of Metro Areas -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates rose in more than two-thirds of the nation's largest metro areas in November, a sharp reversal from the previous month and the most since June.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that unemployment rates rose in 258 of the 372 largest cities, fell in 88 and remained the same in 26. That's worse than the previous month, when rates fell in 200 areas and rose in 108.

94. Norfolk Yard Finally Set to Commence -

Norfolk Southern Corp. has a busy year ahead as it finally begins preparations for a $112 million project that will create jobs, increase rail capacity and reduce highway traffic congestion in the Memphis area.

95. Stores Push Gimmicks for Super Saturday -

Many stores are pushing discounts and other gimmicks for the last weekend before Christmas. Research firm ShopperTrak predicts Saturday will be the second or third busiest shopping day of the year.

96. Nucor Expects 4Q Loss of 10 to 15 Cents per Share -

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Steel maker Nucor Corp. expects to lose money in the fourth quarter as material costs rose and demand from construction markets remained weak.

97. Wave of the Future -

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is in the process of installing 1,000 high-tech smart meters in homes across the Mid-South as part of its three-year Smart Grid demonstration project. The devices should prove especially useful since it is estimated that MLGW households use 36 percent more electricity than the national average.

98. Where Fewer Foreclosures are Now Bad for Business -

CAPE CORAL, Fla. (AP) – Across the nation, troubled homeowners have cheered the news that some banks are slowing the foreclosure process to review questionable documents. Then there are places like Lee County, Fla., where not everyone is applauding.

99. MEM Notches Strong September -

September proved to be a banner month at Memphis International Airport, which registered increases in both passenger and cargo activity.

Memphis handled 720.6 million pounds of cargo last month, up 2.5 percent from 701.1 million in September 2009, according to figures released Thursday at the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority’s board of commissioners meeting.

100. DeSoto’s Housing Market Levels Out -

The DeSoto County residential market seems to be leveling off after several years of declining numbers. Sales figures for the year-to-date are slightly up, showing small surges and dropoffs after possibly bottoming out in 2008 and 2009.