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Calif. firm agrees to shut down dog-leasing business in Massachusetts


Rates hit 5 percent for first time in more than 10 years

For the first time in more than a decade, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 5 percent. According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 5 percent. It was 4.72 percent a week ago and 3.04 percent a year ago. The last time the 30-year fixed-rate average was above 5 percent was February 2011. The 15-year fixed-rate average jumped to 4.17 percent. It was 3.91 percent a week ago and 2.35 percent a year ago. — WASHINGTON POST


Amazon CEO pledges to cut down on worker injuries

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, ​​in his first letter to shareholders since getting the job last year, pledged to reduce injury rates among frontline workers. The company has been criticized for a high rate of injuries at its warehouses — typically nerve, muscle, and joint issues, caused by overexertion, repetitive strain, and poor ergonomics. Though such maladies are less headline-grabbing than serious accidents or deaths — which also occasionally occur at Amazon facilities — they can still lead to missed work and lifelong pain. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Retail spending keeps going

Americans kept spending in March even amid higher prices for food, gasoline, and other basics, worsened by Russia’s escalating war with Ukraine. Retail sales increased 0.5 percent after registering a revised 0.8 percent jump from January to February. Spending has been fueled by wage gains, solid hiring, and more money in banking accounts. January’s increase of 4.9 percent was the biggest jump in spending since March 2021, when American households received a final federal stimulus check of $1,400. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Prices for processed eggs spike because of bird flu

The prices for processed eggs, which go into everything from salad dressings to cake mix, are soaring to record highs due to bird flu outbreaks in the midwestern United States. Avian influenza is spreading in flocks around the country at a pace that could make it the worst outbreak in US history. The virus has already taken out 20 million birds and it’s hitting the market for breaker eggs, mostly produced in states like Iowa. These eggs are processed into liquid or powder form, and go into manufactured foods. The sky-high prices for breaker eggs are going to add to higher production costs for food makers and further stoke inflation that’s already rising the fastest in four decades. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Tesla recalling cars again over ‘boombox’ function

Tesla is recalling nearly 595,000 vehicles in the United States, most for a second time, because a “Boombox” function can play sounds over an external speaker and obscure audible warnings for pedestrians. The electric car company says in government documents that the new recall will disable “Boombox” if owners are using a feature that lets them “summon” the vehicles at low speeds. The first recall in February disabled “Boombox” if the Teslas are in drive, neutral, or reverse. Both recalls will be done with online software updates. The new recall covers certain 2020 through 2022 Model Y, X, and S vehicles, as well as the 2017 through 2022 Model 3. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Trading business at top banks soars

Morgan Stanley traders blew past analysts’ estimates as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increased market volatility in the first three months of the year. The company’s trading operation posted $6.1 billion in revenue, an increase from a year earlier after analysts had expected a 19 percent decline in the first quarter. The best results were in the equities business, which posted a 10 percent gain after a big hit from the Archegos Capital Management scandal a year earlier, according to a statement Thursday. The relative strength in Morgan Stanley’s trading business comes as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs all topped trading estimates as well. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Another attempt next week planned to free stuck ship

A month after its giant container ship ran aground near Baltimore, Evergreen Marine Corp. continues to dig for a solution. After initial efforts to refloat the Hong Kong-flagged Ever Forward using tugs and dredgers failed, the salvage team led by the US Coast Guard will try again to free the ship early next week, the Coast Guard said in an e-mailed statement. The crew is expected to take advantage of high tides triggered by this weekend’s full moon to carry out the operation. The crew began removing containers on April 9 in an effort to lighten the vessel before the next attempt. As of Thursday morning, 233 of about 500 containers planned have been unloaded, the Coast Guard said. The vessel was carrying almost 5,000 containers when it got stuck, although it can handle as many as 12,000, it added. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Property taxes topped $10,000 in NYC metro area last year

Property taxes on single-family homes exceeded $10,000 in 16 counties in 2021, including 12 in the New York City metro area, according to real-estate research firm Attom Data Solutions. Overall the average tax increased 1.8 percent to $3,785 last year, the smallest pace in five years, Attom found. But the median price of previously owned, single-family homes set new highs last year, and has climbed even more in the early months of 2022. That suggests bills will likely increase next year as tax assessments lag behind rising property value, according to Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at Attom. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


UnitedHealth had a good quarter and expects a good year

UnitedHealth Group delivered a better-than-expected first quarter and raised its 2022 forecast, as growth in Medicare Advantage coverage and care delivery once again helped the health care giant. The nation’s largest health insurance provider said enrollment in its Medicare Advantage plans grew nearly 9 percent to about 6.9 million people, and the company also booked growth in other government-funded coverage. Its larger commercial enrollment remained nearly flat. UnitedHealth is the biggest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the federally funded Medicare program. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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