National news roundup: Lack of homes on market cuts into sales

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Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:00 am

Lack of homes on market cuts into sales

Sales of previously owned houses dropped in June, hurt by a lack of supply and rising mortgage rates that will slow the rebound in the U.S. real-estate market. Purchases fell 1.2 percent to a 5.08 million annualized rate, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. Still, the pace of the demand was the second- strongest since November 2009, following May’s downwardly revised 5.14 million rate. The number of houses for sale at the end of last month were the fewest for any June since 2001 as rising prices depleted the number of cheaper houses on the market.

Survey finds hiring on rise

Copanies are increasingly confident the economy will grow at a modest pace over the next year and are hiring more, according to a survey of business economists. Nearly one-third of the economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said their companies added jobs in the April-June quarter, according to a report released Monday. That’s the highest percentage in nearly two years. And 39 percent expect their firms will hire more in the next six months. That’s near the two-year high of 40 percent reached in the January-March quarter.

Activist cuts stake in Yahoo, leaves board

Activist investor Dan Loeb and two other directors nominated by his hedge fund are leaving Yahoo’s board after big gains in the Internet company’s stock price over the past year. Yahoo is also buying back 40 million shares of its common stock from Third Point LLC, Loeb’s hedge fund. That cuts Loeb’s stake in Yahoo from 5.8 percent to less than 2 percent. Loeb instigated the departure of former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson in 2012. Yahoo named longtime Google executive Marissa Mayer as its CEO last July. The stock has risen about 83 percent since then on stock repurchases and earnings growth stemming from its stake in Chinese Internet company Alibaba.

Aereo to expand to Utah

Aereo, which provides broadcast television over the Internet for $8 a month, says it will expand to Utah next month. The service started in New York last year, expanded to Boston and Atlanta last spring and earlier announced plans to expand to Chicago in September. Aereo is positioning itself as a cheaper alternative to cable or satellite TV subscriptions. It converts television signals into computer data and sends them over the Internet to subscribers’ computers and mobile devices.

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