Business Briefs – February 24, 2016

Apple: Congress, Not Courts, Must Decide

WASHINGTON (AP) – Apple Inc. will tell a federal judge this week in legal papers that its fight with the FBI over accessing a locked and encrypted iPhone should be kicked to Congress, rather than decided by courts, The Associated Press has learned.

Apple will also argue that the Obama administration’s request to help it hack into an iPhone in the federal investigation of the San Bernardino attack is improper under an 18th century law, which has been used to compel companies to provide assistance to law enforcement.

U.S. New-Home Sales Tumble In January, Big Decline in West

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans stepped back from buying new homes in January, as purchases plunged sharply in Western states where prices are typically higher.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales fell 9.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000. Most of the decline stemmed for a 32.1 drop in sales in the West.

The pace of buying new homes last month slipped below last year’s sales total of 501,000, a possible sign of mounting price pressures. But new-home sales also tend to be a volatile government report with revisions and large swings on a monthly basis.

Lowe’s Revenue Jumps In 4Q As Housing Market Warms

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Lowe’s revenue for the fourth quarter beat most expectations and its profit outlook for the year did too amid a housing recovery that is sending more do-it-yourselfers through its doors.

Unseasonably warm weather also meant that home owners tackled projects outside during what is usually a slower quarter for the industry.

UPS Invests in Same-Day Delivery Company Deliv

NEW YORK (AP) — UPS, looking for ways to get goods to shoppers faster, is investing in same-day delivery company Deliv.

Deliv, founded nearly four years ago, works with Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and other retailers to deliver online orders within the same day. Shoppers select same-day delivery when they’re about to buy something from the retailer’s website and Deliv’s workers get it there. Retailers pay Deliv for its service and the stores usually charge customers.

IMF Seeks Contingency Plans For Vulnerable Global Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) – The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that the global economy is “highly vulnerable” to adverse shocks and urged the United States and other major governments to prepare contingency plans that could be rolled out quickly to boost growth.

The IMF report said a fragile global recovery has weakened further in the face of increasing financial market turbulence, falling oil prices, and diminished growth prospects in China and other emerging market countries.