Business Briefs – September 22, 2016

Yahoo Hack Steals Personal Info From at Least 500M Accounts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Hackers swiped personal information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in what is believed to be the biggest digital break-in at an email provider. The massive security breakdown disclosed Thursday poses new headaches for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer as she scrambles to close a $4.8 billion sale to Verizon Communication.

The breach Thursday dates back to late 2014, raising questions about the checks and balances within Yahoo — a fallen internet star that has been laying off staff to counter a steep drop in revenue during the past eight years.

U.S. Home Sales Fell in August As Inventories Plummet

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans retreated from home-buying in August, as a worsening inventory shortage appears to be hurting sales and pushing prices higher.

Housing has been a bright spot amid weak economic growth for much of this year. But the primary weakness in housing has been a lack of properties for sale.

Sales of existing homes slipped 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million, the second straight monthly decline, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

 U.S. Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Declines to 3.48 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.48 percent from 3.50 percent last week. The benchmark rate is down from 3.86 percent a year ago, and is close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012. The 15-year fixed rate was 2.76 percent down from 2.77 percent.

Hanjin Shipping to Get More Funds to Resolve Cargo Crisis

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Hanjin Shipping is set to receive as much as $100 million in additional funds to resolve the cargo crisis caused by its slide toward bankruptcy.

Hanjin’s lead creditor, Korea Development Bank, said Thursday it will offer a credit line of 50-billion won ($45 million) to help the shipper unload cargo stranded offshore. The announcement comes a day after Korean Air Lines’ board approved a 60 billion won ($54 million) loan to the troubled ocean shipping line.

Even with the help of the bank, it was not clear if the new funds would be enough to solve the cargo crisis.

Turkish Central Bank Cuts Rate To Boost Slowing Economy

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s central bank cut a key interest rate for the seventh month in a row as it tries to shore up an economy that has been shaken by a series of bombings and an attempted coup.

Voicing what appeared to be increasing worries over the scale of the country’s economic slowdown, the bank cut its overnight marginal funding rate to 8.25 percent from 8.5 percent. That means the rate has fallen by 2.5 percentage points since March.

The lower rate is intended to help banks borrow more cheaply from day to day, which could help keep the financial system running smoothly at a time of heightened uncertainty.

Tesla Update Halts Automatic Steering if Driver Inattentive

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors says a software update to its Autopilot system will disable automatic steering if drivers don’t keep their hands on the wheel.

The update also adds multiple features, including improved radar, better voice commands and an industry-first temperature control system that helps prevent kids and pets from overheating.

Tesla started moving the update to Model X SUV and Model S sedan owners Wednesday night over the internet.

Critics questioned whether the system, which was released last fall, was ready to be on the road after a driver using Autopilot was killed when his Model S sedan struck a tractor-trailer.