Business briefs – October 26, 2018

Amazon’s Profit Soars, But Revenue Disappoints

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon’s profit soared to nearly $3 billion in the third quarter, fueled by the growth of online shopping and its cloud-computing service. But the online retailer’s revenue didn’t meet Wall Street expectations, and shares of Amazon.com Inc. fell in after-hours trading Thursday.

The Best Defense: Investors Flee Tech Stocks For Utilities

NEW YORK (AP) – The stock market’s plunge over the last three weeks has sent investors looking for safer options, leading to strong gains for utilities, household goods makers, and other companies that are traditionally considered safer. It’s a sharp reversal of the pattern that has held in the stock market since the aftermath of the Great Recession as Wall Street frets about economic growth and looks for stocks that aren’t as volatile.

Trump Says New Proposal Will Lower U.S. Drug Prices

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he’s taking steps to lower prescription drug prices. Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, Mr. Trump announced a plan that he said would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay higher prices for prescriptions than people do for the same drugs in other countries.

Saudi Prince’s Message May Not Be Enough to Repair Damage

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – A defiant message delivered by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to investors gathered in Riyadh may not be enough to repair the damage inflicted to his global standing as he faces continued international pressure over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Participants of the high-profile investment forum on Thursday were taking stock of the outcome of his first public remarks on the killing.

Average Mortgage Rates Edge Up; 30-Year at 4.86 Percent

(AP) – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged slightly higher this week amid continued anxiety in financial markets as interest rates rise.

Home borrowing rates remain at their highest levels in more than seven years, with the key 30-year rate approaching 5 percent. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked up to an average 4.86 percent this week from 4.85 percent last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94 percent.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.29 percent this week from 4.26 percent last week.

Anxiety over rising interest rates has buffeted financial markets in recent weeks.