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Editorial Results (free)

1. Last Word: Veep Visit, Women and Baseball and Civil Rights Cold Cases -

Game time at FedExForum for the NCAA South semifinals and Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be here to cheer on the Butler Bulldogs. The Butler mascot – a live bulldog – was already in town Thursday making the rounds. I think March Madness requires that all involved up their mascot game if they get this far. So UCLA, we expect to see a live bear roaming Beale Street. You might be able to work a deal with the zoo on this. But if there’s a cost split make sure you nail down those percentages.

2. Last Word: Milhaus Sells, Voucher Debate Gets Heated and Boyd's Fly Around -

Highland Row isn’t fully open yet and it is already up for sale as part of a real estate portfolio. The owner, Milhaus, based in Indianapolis, is a development, construction and property management company that works in mixed use development. And the portfolio being on the market could turn into a recapitalization.

3. February 17-23, 2017: This week in Memphis history -

2015: Eric Trump, son of future President Donald Trump, is in Memphis for the opening of the new Eric Trump Foundation Surgery and ICU Center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The facility is part of the $198 million Kay Research and Care Center that will also include a proton therapy center and the Marlo Thomas Center for Global Education and Collaboration.

4. Last Word: Little Chairs in Longview, Police Pay Raise and Tiger Football Schedule -

The toys are in their cubbyholes. No stray Legos yet. The little chairs tucked neatly under little tables. The tall trees with their bare branches are much in need of little eyes inspecting their twisted branches and the shadows they make on the winter ground.

5. Trump Acts to Advance Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump signed executive actions Tuesday to advance construction of the huge Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, moving aggressively to overhaul America's energy policy and dealing a swift blow to Barack Obama's legacy on climate change.

6. Wolf River Greenway’s Epping Way Segment Moves Toward May Opening -

The only trace of Berry Brooks’ Epping Way clubhouse and recreation area is a pair of wooden gabled stone posts across the curb cut and gravel entrance at the end of a Raleigh cul de sac.

The clubhouse and its parking lot just beyond the entrance on a hilltop that is still a verdant green days away from winter is long gone. A slim border, perhaps of a swimming pool, appears intermittently. The nine tennis courts are now a duck pond near the 20-acre lake that remains the centerpiece of the property.

7. AutoZone Revs Up Net Income By 8 Percent -

The first significant cold snap of the season is at hand, something that might leave most people resigned to the corresponding inconveniences but nonetheless excites AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes.

8. Trump Not Saying What He'll Do About Dakota Access Pipeline -

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) – Protesters who celebrated a major victory in their push to reroute the Dakota Access oil pipeline vowed to remain camped on federal land as they wait to find out whether President-elect Donald Trump might seek to overturn a decision that delayed the $3.8 billion project.

9. Last Word: Boca, Poe Killed by Politics and Embedding In The Real Memphis -

BOCA BOWL – As expected, the University of Memphis Tigers football team is going south for the post season. They got and accepted Sunday the formal invitation to play in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 20 against Western Kentucky. Ticket information should be forthcoming Monday for those of you who didn’t get enough during the Emerald Coast Classic with the basketball Tigers not too long ago.

10. Last Word: The Death of Black Friday, Memphis Rental Rates and Distracted Driving -

Lots of reporting this Thanksgiving about the imminent demise of Black Friday as an economic force or at least the economic force it once was. As some of you are reading this it is already Cyber Monday.

11. Memphis-Area Entrepreneurs Earn Top Franchise Honor -

Local entrepreneurs Fain and Sandra Dalton, owners of The Grounds Guys of Germantown, recently took home the award for Franchisees of the Year for The Grounds Guys landscaping services company, which encompasses more than 240 franchisees across the country.

12. Shelby County Mortgage Market Up 9 Percent in October -

Consumers have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the domestic economy, the investment professionals at Memphis-based Summit Asset Management wrote in an October update to clients. Among them, “a sustained recovery in housing.”

13. Austin Insulation Stays On Call Even Into the Middle of the Night -

The work won’t wait. When it needs to be done, it needs to be done and it needs to be done right. Wayne Austin, president of Austin Insulation, has always operated with that mindset.

14. Last Word: Festival Season, The Unbanked and Artspace Lofts Gets Started -

It was one of those weekends. In thinking back on it you will probably add rich fall colors on the trees that will come just a bit later. And since you are adding things you might give the Tigers another touchdown or two – or not, depending on where your allegiances are.

15. Trampoline Park Coming To Trinity Commons -

A new retail tenant in Trinity Commons shopping center in Cordova could have some Memphians jumping for joy.

Loeb Properties Inc. announced it has leased 30,000 square feet at the center, 700 N. Germantown Parkway, to national trampoline park chain Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park.

16. Trampoline Park Coming To Trinity Commons in Cordova -

A new retail tenant in Trinity Commons shopping center in Cordova could have some Memphians jumping for joy.

Loeb Properties Inc. announced it has leased 30,000 square feet at the center, 700 N. Germantown Parkway, to national trampoline park chain Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park.

17. Belz Preparing Peabody Place for ServiceMaster HQ -

150 Peabody Place

Memphis, TN 38103

Permit Amount: $9.5 million

Project Cost: $27 million overall

18. US GDP Grows a Weak 1.2 Percent in Second Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in the U.S. economy was sluggish again in the spring, dashing expectations for a robust rebound after a tough winter. Stronger consumer spending was offset by weakness in housing construction and a big slowdown in the pace that businesses restocked store shelves.

19. May Home Sales Rise, Low Inventory Hiking Prices -

After a strong April, home sales in Shelby County continued to perform well in May.

Total home sales increased 29 percent, from 1,266 recorded in May 2015 to 1,630 sales in May this year. Total home sales volume soared to $251 million, which is up 27 percent from last year, according to data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com.

20. US Gains Just 38K Jobs, Fewest in 5 Years; Rate at 4.7 Pct. -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers drastically slowed their hiring in May, adding just 38,000 jobs, the fewest in more than five years and a sign of concern after the economy barely grew in the first three months of the year.

21. Multifamily Rents Increase Significantly in First Quarter -

Memphis area market rents increased an annualized 4.7 percent during the first quarter of the year, reaching $795, according to a first-quarter report from ARA Memphis, a Newmark company.

It is the largest increase in rents for a first quarter in more than a decade and a half. A mild winter and an improving job market were considered likely factors in the significant increase, the report noted. The Memphis unemployment rate dropped below the national rate in March, the first time it has done so since 1999.

22. Multifamily Rents Soar To 15-Year Record in Q1 -

Memphis area market rents increased an annualized 4.7 percent during the first quarter of the year, reaching $795, according to a first-quarter report from ARA Memphis, a Newmark company.

It is the largest increase in rents for a first quarter in more than a decade and a half. A mild winter and an improving job market were considered likely factors in the significant increase, the report noted. The Memphis unemployment rate dropped below the national rate in March, the first time it has done so since 1999.

23. Poll: Americans More Upbeat About Own Finances Than Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are of two minds about the economy in the midst of an elec-tion race that largely hinges on the issue. They are strikingly pessimistic about the national econ-omy yet comparatively upbeat about their own financial circumstances.

24. The Week Ahead: May 9-15 -

Alright, Memphis, grab your calendars! Whether you want to book it over to the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival or just baste in the scent of barbecue, there’s plenty to do this week. Here’s our roundup...

25. Fed Survey Finds US Economy Still Expanding -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy kept expanding in late February and March, despite weakness in the energy sector and a slowdown in exports of some factory and farm products because of global weakness and the strong dollar.

26. Mortgage Market Sees Small January Dip -

Shelby County’s mortgage market kicked off 2016 reflecting a bit of the backwards step other sectors of the economy, such as the stock market, have taken in recent weeks.

Looking at purchase activity, new mortgage numbers available for January show mortgage volume last month slipped 3 percent to $86.7 million, compared with $89.4 million in January 2015. That’s according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com.

27. Last Word: EW&F, Midtown Rent Rise and A Closer Look At The Pyramid Deal -

One seemingly ordinary winter’s night in Downtown Memphis, I was going from event to event focused on work – specifically trying to stay on a schedule in which several things I wanted to cover were happening at the same time.
That is usually when you miss the experience that is Memphis on an everyday but definitely not ordinary basis.
So I get in a parking garage elevator and on the next floor David Porter – of Stax Records fame – gets on and he introduces me to his friend, Maurice White – the founder of Earth Wind and Fire. They too are trying to be in several places at the same time.
As they went their way and I went mine, I remember thinking this is quite a special place.
The encounter slowed my stride a bit and took some of the edge off the schedule – noticing for the first time how many people were out on a winter’s night in our city having nothing but a good time made better by all of us going our different ways.
White, who was from Memphis, died Thursday with his band’s music stronger and more relevant than ever.
If you grew up listening to EWF when the songs were new, you know that the bright and funky sound and the positive, affirming, and diverse identity of this music was quite intentional at a time when there was plenty going on that could have pushed it the other way.
If your parents or grandparents grew up listening to EWF, this music is a part of your family’s tradition that calls to mind special occasions and even your own mild surprise the first time you found yourself dancing to it with your children.
And if your folks’ vinyl record collection from back in the day included Earth Wind and Fire, that was one of the ones you listened to when they weren’t around and one of the ones you took with you when you got a place of your own.

28. Survey: US Businesses Add 257,000 Jobs, Most in a Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses stepped up hiring last month, led by solid gains in construction and retail, a private survey found.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 257,000 jobs in December, the most in a year. Construction companies added 24,000 jobs, while retailers and shipping firms added 38,000.

29. US Economy Grew at 2 Pct. Rate Over Summer; A Pickup Is Seen -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a slightly slower pace over the summer than the government had previously estimated. Most economists foresee a slight acceleration in the current quarter and stronger growth in the first half of 2016.

30. ‘Entertainment Destination’ Planned for Downtown’s South End -

A local developer has plans to transform a city block in Downtown Memphis’ South End into an “entertainment destination” modeled after a popular New Orleans establishment.

Brad Barnett wants to turn the former Loflin Safe & Lock Co. building at 7 W. Carolina Ave. into a bar/restaurant with private residence on top. He also plans to redevelop a carriage house at 721 Florida St. into a 5,000-square-foot rentable event space.

31. Central Station Developers Pull $14.2M Permit for Apartments -

Within days of Memphis City Council approval of the Central Station development contract, Henry Turley Co. and general contractor Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC have filed a $14.2 million building permit application for a new apartment complex at 608 S. Front St.

32. Memphis City Council Heads For Rocky End Of Term -

With only two meetings left, Memphis City Council members are on their way toward what looks to be a rocky end of their four-year term of office together.

And the council’s annual election of a new chairman Tuesday, Nov. 17, for the coming calendar year didn’t help matters.

33. Council Delays Central Station and Graceland West Votes -

Memphis City Council members delayed approval Tuesday, Nov. 17, of the lease agreement and financing of the Central Station redevelopment project for two weeks. And it also delayed a vote on the Graceland West renovation and expansion.

34. US Factories Grow at Slowest Pace in 2½ Years; Hiring Falls -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory activity grew last month at its slowest pace since May 2013 as manufacturers pared their stockpiles and cut jobs.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of factory activity slipped to 50.1 in October from 50.2 in September. The figures barely signal growth, which is any reading above 50.

35. Economy Grew at 3.9 Percent Rate in April-June Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at an even faster clip in the spring than previously estimated. But that growth likely slowed in the summer, held back by global headwinds and turbulent financial markets.

36. US Economy Posts Solid 2.3 Percent Growth Rate in Q2 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy posted a solid rebound in the April-June quarter after a harsh winter, led by a surge in consumer spending and a recovery in foreign trade that bode well for the rest of the year.

37. TDOT Delays I-55 Roundabout To Reconsider Bridge Closing -

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has put on hold plans for an Interstate 55 roundabout on the Memphis side of the Memphis-Arkansas bridge citing a review of its plans to close the bridge for nine months during the construction process.

38. Build Out -

Boyle Investment Co. is building a 52,000-square-foot office building at its Schilling Farms community in Collierville in which Helena Chemical Co.’s Southern Business Unit will lease half of the space.

39. Cool Off -

Al Austin knows he’s competing with the sunshine.

But Austin, co-owner of the Mid-South Ice House, wants Memphis-area residents looking for a cool summer activity to know he’s in business.

“It’s 52 degrees in the rink,” he said.

40. Fed Survey Finds Economic Growth in All Regions of US -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy was expanding in all regions of the country in the late spring, aided by strong sales of autos and other consumer goods.

In its latest survey of business conditions, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that some of its regions reported that lower energy prices were encouraging consumers to shop and eat out more. Growing sales of homes and commercial real estate also boosted the economy.

41. Yellen: First Fed Rate Hike Likely Later This Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday she is encouraged by signs that the economy is reviving after a brutal winter. And if the improvements stay on track, the Fed will likely start raising interest rates later this year.

42. Growth in US Services Firms Rises in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service firms grew at a slightly faster pace in June, as business activity and new orders increased.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its services index edged up to 56 in June from 55.7 in May. Any reading over 50 indicates that services firms are expanding.

43. US Unemployment Falls to 7-Year Low, But Wages are Flat -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. unemployment fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent and employers hired at a solid pace in June, but other gauges of the job market drew a bleaker picture: A wave of people stopped looking for work, and paychecks failed to budge.

44. Fed Likely to Signal Coming Rate Hike If Economy Strengthens -

WASHINGTON (AP) – With evidence that the U.S. economy is rebounding from a winter slump, the Federal Reserve will likely signal this week that an interest rate increase is coming – just not quite yet.

45. Fed Sees Moderate Economic Growth Around Country This Spring -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy was growing at a moderate pace in most regions of the country in April and May, as consumers ramped up spending at retailers and auto dealers, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

46. Fuel and Potential Fires for the US Economy Ahead -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The US economy should get better after a sputtering first quarter, but how much better? It's complicated.

Steady hiring and low gas prices should help power solid growth through the rest of 2015. The harsh winter and a labor dispute that slowed trade at West Coast ports are both over. Home sales and construction are rebounding, along with business investment.

47. Why a Shrinking Economy Last Quarter Isn't Cause for Fear -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Another first quarter of the year. Another reversal for the U.S. economy. Another expectation of a rebound to come.

On Friday, the government will likely estimate that the economy shrank in the January-March quarter for a second straight year, depressed by brutal weather, a reeling energy sector and an export slump caused by a higher-valued dollar.

48. US Economy Rebounding With Solid, If Unspectacular, Job Gains -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rebounding from a dismal start to the year, the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, a solid gain that suggested that employers are helping fuel a durable if still subpar recovery.

49. A Hazy View of US Economy Emerges Ahead of April Jobs Report -

WASHINGTON (AP) – When the government reports Friday on job growth during April, it could help clarify an increasingly nagging question:

Just how strong is the U.S. economy?

The picture has grown hazier of late. Employers added only 126,000 jobs in March, ending a yearlong streak of monthly gains above 200,000. For April, economists predict a rebound to 222,500 added jobs.

50. Growth in US Services Firms Picked Up Speed Last Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service firms' growth accelerated in April, fueled by more orders, rising sales and an uptick in hiring. The figures provide solid evidence that the economy is recovering from its first-quarter stumble.

51. Survey: US Businesses Expect Sales Rebound, More Hiring -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. businesses expect their sales will rebound in the next three months after a sluggish first quarter, and they also plan to boost hiring and pay, according to a survey released Monday.

52. US Homebuilders' Outlook for Spring Sales Surges -

U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic that sales will perk up in coming months as the spring home-selling season unfolds.

That would bode well for home construction, which slowed early this year as severe winter weather halted new projects in the Northeast and Midwest.

53. US Retail Sales Heat Up in March; Has Big Thaw Arrived? -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their spending on autos, furniture, clothing and building materials in March, lifting retail sales for the first time in four months.

Retail sales jumped 0.9 percent last month, after declining 0.5 percent in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The rebound suggests that shoppers are returning after an unseasonably cold winter froze sales.

54. US Job Openings Surge, Yet Employers Slow To Hire -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. job openings surged in February to a 14-year high, yet employers filled fewer of those jobs than in the previous month.

On a brighter note, the Labor Department also said Tuesday that layoffs fell sharply. Taken together, the figures suggest that signs of a stumbling economy prompted U.S. businesses to pull back on hiring. But they weren't spooked enough to cut more jobs.

55. US Service Firms Grew at Slightly Slower Pace Last Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service firms expanded at a slightly slower yet still healthy pace in March, an encouraging sign after multiple reports last week pointed to a slowing economy.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its services index slipped to 56.5 last month, from 56.9 in February. Any reading over 50 indicates expansion.

56. End of Robust Hiring Streak Raises Doubts About Job Market -

WASHINGTON (AP) – For months, the U.S. economy's strength has been flagging.

Manufacturing slowed. Fewer homes were built. Cheaper gas failed to ignite consumer spending. Yet month after month, employers kept on hiring vigorously.

57. Survey: US Businesses Add 189,000 Jobs in March -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. businesses slowed their pace of hiring in March, a private survey found. The slowdown raises questions about how much of an impact falling oil prices, a stronger dollar and harsh winter weather have had on dampening economic growth.

58. Commercial Real Estate Bounces Back -

After slowing to a crawl in the years following the Great Recession, commercial real estate activity in Metropolitan Knoxville is showing signs of sustained growth.

Last year marked a solid increase in sales and leasing in the Knoxville region, and 2015 is off to a good start, according to several area real estate executives.

59. US Home Sales Rebound Slightly in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Slightly more Americans bought homes in February, but tight inventories, affordability problems and nasty winter weather point to sluggish sales in the coming few months.

60. Middle Tennessee Mayors Push for Gas Tax Increase -

A lot has changed in Middle Tennessee’s cities, towns and communities since 1990. Tennessee’s fuel tax has not.

The Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus met at the end of 2014 and took a hard look at how the state’s gas and fuel tax, which provides funding for transportation improvement, is stuck in 1990. Meanwhile, mayors are dealing with the realities of serving a fast-growing and booming region in 2015.

61. Applications for US Jobless Aid Barely Rose Last Week -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits basically held steady last week, as the job market continues to outpace broader economic growth.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid rose slightly by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000. Jobless claims have been subdued for the past two weeks after winter storms caused them to spike at the end of February due to closed schools and construction sites.

62. As Fed Weighs a Rate Hike, US Economy is Looking a Bit Paler -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just as the Federal Reserve seems to be inching toward an interest rate hike because of the strengthening U.S. job market, its task is getting more complicated:

Several key sectors of the economy are flashing some signs of weakness.

63. Applications for US Unemployment Benefits Fall Sharply -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, a sign that strong hiring will likely continue.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The drop nearly reversed a large increase from last month, which likely occurred because of cold weather and snowstorms.

64. A Robust US Job Market is Expected to Keep Delivering -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even after the most vigorous three-month hiring spree in 17 years, U.S. employers are showing few signs of letting up.

Job growth for February, to be reported Friday, might not match the furious pace of November through January, when 1 million positions were added. Harsh winter weather likely discouraged some hiring.

65. US Construction Spending Down 1.1 Percent in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. construction spending fell in January, reflecting weakness in spending on office buildings and other nonresidential projects and in government activity.

Construction spending fell 1.1 percent in January following a revised 0.8 percent increase in December, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

66. US Home Sales Plunge 4.9 Percent in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home sales struck a snow drift in January, plunging to the slowest pace in nine months.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes tumbled 4.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million. That brings sales down to their lowest level since April 2014.

67. SmartWay Traffic App Benefiting Motorists -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A new real-time road conditions map developed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation has come in handy this winter.

According to The Tennessean, the department debuted the improved SmartWay traffic Web app in December. With the recent harsh winter weather, it has helped provide motorists with fast information about icy highways, crashes and even recent interstate closures.

68. Saudi Prince set to Visit Memphis Monday -

A member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, is scheduled to visit Memphis Monday, touring locations that include the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.

The prince, who’s also the founder of private investment company KBW Investments, is set to tour the Ronald McDonald House facilities and have lunch with the organization’s staff, board members and founders. While there, he’ll also speak with families and learn about the organization’s history and mission, among other things.

69. Creative Destruction -

For about three years Veronica Skinner called the two-story, 24-unit apartment building at 480 Tillman St. in the Binghampton neighborhood home.

70. 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.”

71. 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.

72. 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.

73. 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.

74. 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.

75. 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.

76. 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.

77. 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.

78. 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.

79. 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.

80. 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.

81. 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.

82. 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.

83. 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.

84. 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.

85. 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.

86. 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.

87. 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.

88. 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.

89. 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.

90. 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.

91. 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.

92. 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.

93. 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.

94. 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.

95. 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.

96. 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.

97. 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.

98. 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.

99. 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.

100. 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.