Real Estate Daily News Buzz is designed to give news snippets to readers that our (yet to be award winning) editors thought you could use to start your day. They come from various business perspectives, real estate, government, the Fed, local news, and the stock markets to save you time. Here you will find the headlines and what the news buzz for the day will be.
Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial average rose 65.56 points, or 0.4%, to 16,698.74. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 10.25 points, or 0.5%, to close at 1,920.03. The S&P 500 is at a record high. The NASDAQ composite rose 22.87 points, or 0.5%, to 4,247.95. Benchmark crude for July delivery rose 86 cents to close at $103.58 a barrel in New York.
GOOGLE STEPS UP EFFORTS FOR MORE RACIAL DIVERSITY
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Google has had more trouble diversifying its workforce than its computer scientists have had writing programs that respond to search requests in the blink of an eye or designing cars that can navigate traffic without a human behind the wheel. That seemed to be the conclusion when the Silicon Valley giant this week issued a gender and ethnic breakdown of its workforce that showed that of its 26,600 U.S. employees, 61% are white, 30% Asian, 3% Hispanic and 2 per cent black. Thirty per cent of its employees are women. Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Advanced Micro Devices have published similar breakdowns. “Google is miles from where we want to be,” said Laszlo Bock, head of personnel at Google.
APPLE’S BEATS BUY JOINS TECH AND STREET-WISE STYLE
NEW YORK (AP) — Beats Electronics’ colorful, oversized headphones serve as a fashion accessory to cool kids riding the New York City subway, but as tech companies such as Apple, Samsung and others are discovering, wearable gadgets like smartwatches and Google Glass still have a long way to go to become trendy, must-have consumer items. Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, by far the company’s largest acquisition, is at least in part recognition that Beats founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine might be able to help Apple incorporate more style and flair into its premium technology gadgets —especially a coming wave of wearable devices.
APPLE BEATS BUY IS TWO SIDED FOR MUSIC STREAMING
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Apple’s $3 billion purchase of headphone maker and streaming music company Beats Electronics sheds light on a rarely recognized reality in the music streaming industry: It’s hard to succeed in the business without offering other products and services. Streaming music companies like Beats Music, which charge users up to $10 a month, can sometimes pay as much as 70 per cent of their revenue in artist royalty fees. That leaves little left for advertising and promotional campaigns to explain to consumers the benefits of paying for a music service.
TYSON ENTERS MEAT BRAWL WITH HILLSHIRE BID
NEW YORK (AP) — Hillshire Brands is at the center of a barnyard brawl. Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat processor, on Thursday made a $6.2 billion offer for the maker Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs, topping a bid made two days earlier by rival poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride. Based in Greeley, Colorado, Pilgrim’s Pride is owned by Brazilian meat giant JBS. The takeover bids for Hillshire by the two major meat processors are being driven by the desirability of brand-name processed products like Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches. The convenience foods are more profitable than fresh meat, such as chicken breasts, where there isn’t as much wiggle room to pad prices.
JAPAN AID WIDENS MYANMAR FACTORIES vs FARMS DIVIDE
THILAWA, Myanmar (AP) — Tin Hsan and her husband lived modestly in the outskirts of Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon, growing rice and betel leaves on their 22 acres and peddling vegetables, but they got by, until they were forced to move to make way for Thilawa, a showcase industrial zone being built with Japanese aid. The expansive factory park is part of plans to develop the Yangon region and its crumbling, pre-World War II infrastructure as Myanmar rushes to shift from subsistence farming to export manufacturing following sweeping political and economic reforms that ended outright rule by the military.
CALIFORNIA CITY VOTES TO END HOT SAUCE DISPUTE
IRWINDALE, Calif. (AP) — The fiery fight is apparently over between the makers of a popular hot sauce and a small Southern California city that said its factory’s smells were unbearable. The Irwindale City Council voted Wednesday night to drop a public nuisance declaration and lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods, makers of Sriracha (suhr-AH’-chuh) hot sauce. The dual moves brought an effective end to the spicy-air dispute that had Sriracha devotees worried about future sauce shortages and had suitors including the state of Texas offering Huy Fong a friendlier home. The closed-session council vote was unanimous with one councilman abstaining due to a conflict of interest, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
APPLICATIONS FOR US JOBLESS AID NEAR 7-YEAR LOW
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to nearly the lowest level in seven years, a sign hiring may be picking up. Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s just above a seven-year low reached three weeks ago. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 311,500, the fewest since August, 2007. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the drop suggests companies are cutting fewer jobs. When employers are confident enough to keep staff, they may also step up hiring. That is a good sign ahead of May’s jobs report, to be released next Friday.
CONTRACTS TO BUY US HOMES ROSE SLIGHTLY IN APRIL
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in April than the prior month. But the pace of buying is still weaker than last year, as higher prices and relatively tight supplies have limited sales. The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.4% to 97.8 last month. The index remains 9.2% below its level a year ago. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a signed contract and a completed sale.
AVERAGE US 30-YEAR MORTGAGE RATE DOWN TO 4.12 PCT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for a fifth straight week. The spring home-buying season has started slowly, but it may be aided by the low rates. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year loan edged down to 4.12% from 4.14% last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage declined to 3.21% from 3.25%. Warmer weather has yet to boost home-buying as it normally does. Rising prices and higher interest rates beginning in mid-2013 have made homes less affordable for would-be buyers. At the same time, a limited supply of homes is available to buy. New construction has focused increasingly on rental apartments, instead of single-family homes.
MOVIES IN THE PARK SERIES RETURNS TO REID PARK
TUCSON – Looking for some family-friendly entertainment on Friday nights over the summer? Movies in the Park, a Tucson summer staple since 2003, returns on Friday, June 6 at Reid Park with a free showing of “The Adventures of Tintin.” Residents are invited to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy a free movie every other Friday at the Demeester Performing Arts Pavilion, 900 S. Randolph Way. The events begin at 5:30 p.m. with live music, jumping castles, balloon animals, and arts and crafts exhibits from nonprofits. Popcorn, soda, and food truck vendors also will be available for an additional charge. The Movies in the Park program is hosted by Cox Communications and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.
From Tucson News Now: http://bit.ly/1nGQAFR
Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance: http://bit.ly/1o0nNKs
Cox Communications: http://bit.ly/1hgRusl
UA TO GRADS: ‘WE SCREWED UP’
TUCSON – University of Arizona officials now acknowledge they “screwed up” when thousands of soon-to-be graduates were forced to wait outdoors for hours in the near-100-degree heat May 17, and there wasn’t enough water available to keep them all hydrated. At least eight graduates were treated by paramedics for seizures, fainting and dehydration. Several guests also succumbed to the heat and a few were taken to the hospital, campus police said. The situation sparked 36 complaints to the UA and its president and more than 100 negative comments on social media sites. Until now, UA officials hadn’t comment publicly on the fallout. “I personally am so sorry and on behalf of our commencement planning team, everyone just feels terrible,” said UA’s Kasey Urquidez, an associate vice president of student affairs who oversees such planning. An internal review is underway to look at what went wrong.
FIRE FORCES CLOSURE OF POPULAR RESTAURANT
TUCSON – Tucson Fire Department (TFD) officials say the initial call for the fire at the Guadalajara Original Grill on East Prince Road came in around 4:42 a.m. today. Crews said they could see heavy smoke and some flames as they arrived at the scene. TFD says damage was confined to a storage area in the rear of the building, though there is extensive smoke damage to the restaurant. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The owner of the restaurant says the eatery could be closed for about three months.
From Tucson News Now: http://bit.ly/1gEj6an