Business Briefs – July 14, 2016

U.S. Weekly Claims for Jobless Benefits Hold Steady

NEW YORK (AP) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was unchanged last week, remaining at the lowest point since mid-April.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly benefit applications held steady at 254,000, following a decline of 16,000 in the previous week. It was the lowest point since the number fell to 248,000 for the week of April 16.

Average U.S. Mortgage Rates Move Little; Near Historic Lows

WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates moved little this week, remaining near historically low levels in the wake of financial disarray in Europe.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.42 percent from 3.41 percent last week, staying close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012. The average rate is down sharply from 4.09 percent a year ago.

The 15-year mortgage rate slipped to 2.72 percent from 2.74 percent last week.

CSX Sees Profits Falling Through 2016 as Volume Slows

OMAHA, Neb. (AP)& – CSX believes profits will decline for rest of the year as freight volume continues to slow.

The railroad reiterated a dreary outlook for the year and bleak long-term prospects for coal demand Thursday.

CSX said Wednesday that second-quarter profit tumbled 20 percent to $445 million with volume sliding 9 percent. It still beat Wall Street expectations, but that’s because it’s slashing costs.

Delta’s 2Q Profit Rises Despite a Dip in Revenue

NEW YORK (AP) – Delta Air Lines Inc.’s second-quarter profit beat expectations despite lower revenue, and the company plans to limit its growth in a bid to push fares higher.

Lower fuel prices have helped airlines earn big profits. That continued at Delta, which said Thursday that net income for the April-to-June quarter was $1.55 billion, up 4 percent from a year ago.

But airline stocks have fallen this year — Delta’s shares began Thursday down 22 percent in 2016 — because investors are skittish about a long slump in revenue per mile.