Business Briefs – December 31, 2015

Market Volatility Causes IPO Market to Stall Out in 2015

NEW YORK (AP) – The number of U.S. companies that successfully made an initial public offering in 2015 dropped by more than 40 percent compared with a year ago, according to a report by IPO research firm Renaissance Capital. The money raised was considerably lower as well; from $85.3 billion last year, to $30 billion in 2015.

That signaled significantly reduced ambitions from companies, and some fear on the part of investors.

Target’s Turnaround Gets Shoppers Back Into Stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Target’s efforts to draw shoppers back into its stores are paying off.

The sales improvements come as Target continues a turnaround plan it started after it hired CEO Brian Cornell in 2014. As part of the plan, Target got rid of its money-losing Canadian operations and revamped its management team.

But the key to luring shoppers back has been changes in stores. Target has been updating its fashion, baby products and home decor.

Average U.S. Rate on 30-Year Mortgages Rises to 4.01 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates crossed the 4 percent mark this week, a slight increase in the wake of the Federal Reserve decision this month to hike a key short-term interest rate.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.01 percent from 3.96 percent a week earlier. That rate has been steadily increasing.