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VOL. 127 | NO. 151 | Friday, August 3, 2012

Daily Digest

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Carriage Crossing Owners File $40 Million Loan

The new owners of Collierville lifestyle center Carriage Crossing have filed a $40 million loan for the property through Wells Fargo Bank.

G&I VII Retail Carriage LLC, a partnership between an affiliate of Memphis-based Poag Lifestyle Centers and an affiliate of New York-based registered investment adviser DRA Advisors, bought the 60-acre center – formerly known as The Avenue at Carriage Crossing – from Cousins Properties Inc. in May. Though terms of the deal were not disclosed at the time, $55 million in warranty deeds were later filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

Developed by Cousins Properties and Jim Wilson & Associates LLC, Carriage Crossing opened in 2005, bringing the open-air shopping and dining concept to Collierville . The center, which totals more than 700,000 square feet, continually ranks as one of Shelby County’s most valuable properties, as appraised by the Shelby County Assessor.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Amro Music Honored For Music Advocacy, Store Layouts

Memphis-based Amro Music has been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants for its contributions to music advocacy and for its merchandising and displays.

The 90-year-old family business was awarded the Support Music Local Advocacy Award for the organization’s support of local music and music advocacy. The store won the category of Best Merchandising & Display, thanks to the way it makes stores visitor-friendly by breaking its sales floors into easy-to-find sections each featuring touch-screen monitors where shoppers can learn more about the products on display.

Amro also was a runner-up for the overall Top 100 Dealer.

– Andy Meek

Rate on 30-Year Mortgage Rises to 3.55 Percent

The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week after falling to new record lows in each of the past 13 weeks.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan jumped to 3.55 percent. That’s up from 3.49 percent last week, which was the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, increased to 2.83 percent. That’s above last week’s record low of 2.80 percent.

Mortgage rates have been dropping because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. A weaker U.S. economy and uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis have led investors to buy more Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurys increase, the yield falls.

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans slipped to 0.6 point from 0.7 the previous week.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to 2.70 percent from 2.71 percent. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans declined to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.

The average rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages rose to 2.75 percent from 2.74 percent last week. The fee was unchanged at 0.6.

– The Associated Press

School of Rock Germantown to Hold Grand Opening

National music store School of Rock will hold its official grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., adjacent to Lane Music at 9309 Poplar Ave.

The grand opening will take place outside of the school, where local musical acts will perform. Visitors can also expect fun, special promotions and giveaways along with tours of the school.

The Chicago-based music education franchise opened on July 28. The Daily News first reported School of Rock’s 2,800-square-foot lease signing for the company’s second Tennessee location after Franklin in June.

School of Rock has a proprietary performance-based curriculum that teaches students to play rock music in a unique and interactive way. There are weekly individual lessons on guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals along with weekly group sessions with seasonal performances.

Franchise owners Kenneth Bruce and Sallie Ann Hall decided to bring a School of Rock to Germantown as a way to cultivate their passion for music. Hall’s hope for the school is that it becomes an integral part of the community and instills confidence in kids while they learn to play music in authentic rock venues.

School of Rock Germantown’s regular store hours are Mondays through Thursdays from noon until 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

– Sarah Baker

US Factory Orders Fell 0.5 Percent in June

Companies placed fewer orders with U.S. factories in June from May, signaling further weakness with manufacturing.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that factory orders fell 0.5 percent in June, the third decline in four months.

Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment, dropped 1.7 percent. Demand fell for heavy machinery, computers and autos.

Manufacturing, a key source of growth in the U.S. since the recession ended in June 2009, has weakened in recent months along with the broader economy.

U.S. consumers and businesses have cut back on spending, which has lowered demand for factory goods. Europe’s economic woes and slower growth in China, India and Brazil have also reduced demand for American exports.

U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July, according to a survey by a trade group of purchasing managers.

“The recent softness in manufacturing activity and capital spending is likely to continue, at least for several more months,” said Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics.

U.S. factory orders in June totaled $465.8 billion, up 42.5 percent from the recession low hit in March 2009.

Demand for long-lasting goods, items such as autos and airplanes, increased 1.3 percent in June. Demand for non-durable goods such as petroleum products, fell 2 percent.

The rise in durable goods was driven by a surge in volatile demand for commercial aircraft, which jumped 14.2 percent. Orders for motor vehicles and parts fell 0.7 percent, the second decline in the past three months.

Orders for machinery fell 2.1 percent, reflecting declines in demand for metal working machinery and electric turbines. Demand for computers and other electronic products dropped 4.4 percent.

The fall in nondurable goods reflected declines in demand for textiles, chemicals and petroleum products.

– The Associated Press

Unemployment Aid Apps Rise to 365,000

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose last week, though the data was likely skewed higher by seasonal factors.

Weekly applications increased by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the sixth straight week to 365,500, the lowest since March 31.

The decline in the four-week average suggests the job market could be improving a bit. But economists are viewing last month’s figures with some caution because the government struggles every July to account for temporary summer shutdowns in the auto industry. This year was even more complicated because some automakers skipped the shutdowns, resulting in fewer layoffs.

A Labor Department spokesman said the latest figures should be the last affected by the auto shutdown issues.

Even so, some economists saw positive signs in this week’s report.

“The net decline from a month ago is encouraging,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said in an email to clients.

The seasonal distortions could affect the July employment report, which the Labor Department will release on Friday.

Economists predict employers added 100,000 jobs last month. That would be slightly better than the 75,000 a month average from April through June but still below the healthy 226,000 average in the first three months of the year. The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 8.2 percent.

– The Associated Press

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