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US homebuilder confidence holds steady in November

Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 |
US homebuilder confidence holds steady in November story image
(AP) - U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market held steady this month, but many are worried that another fight over the federal budget could cause would-be buyers to put off home purchases.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index stayed at 54 this month. October's reading was revised one point lower from its initial estimate.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

A measure of current sales conditions was unchanged. Builders' outlook for single-family home sales over the next six months fell one point.

Most builders are optimistic that the housing recovery will endure. Still, many expressed concerns that sales could falter if lawmakers fail to reach a budget deal early next year and shut down the government again.
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Last Update on August 31, 2015 07:33 GMT

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) --There are no major economic reports scheduled for release today. But tomorrow, the Institute for Supply Management will issue its manufacturing index for August and the Commerce Department will report on construction spending for July.

Also tomorrow, automakers will release vehicle sales for August.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department will reveal second-quarter productivity data and the Commerce Department will report on factory orders for July. The Federal Reserve will also release its Beige Book.

CURRENCY REDESIGN

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) -- U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios plans to travel to the National Women's Hall of Fame in upstate New York later today to hear from the public about plans to put a woman on the $10 bill.

Rios is scheduled to be at a town hall meeting in Seneca Falls, where the original 1848 Women's Rights Convention was held.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced in June that the $10 bill would be redesigned, with the portrait of Alexander Hamilton replaced with a woman. Lew says the agency has so far gotten more than a million responses to his request for comments.

Officials plan to make a decision by this fall, with the total redesign completed by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY-PHILLIPS

UNDATED (AP) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's company has amassed a stake worth nearly $4.5 billion in Phillips 66 more than a year after trading a chunk of its holding in the oil refiner for a chemical business investment.

A regulatory filing says Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has accumulated about 58 million shares, which amounts to more than 10 percent of the Houston company's stock.

In late 2013, the Omaha, Nebraska, company agreed to trade about $1.4 billion of its Phillips 66 stock for one of the refiner's businesses that makes additives to help crude oil flow through pipelines.

Many investors watch Berkshire Hathaway filings closely because they like to copy Buffett's moves given his successful record.

ITALY-ENI-GAS FIELD

ROME (AP) -- An Italian energy company Eni says it has discovered a "supergiant" natural gas field off Egypt.

The company, Eni, says it's the largest ever found in the Mediterranean Sea.

The discovery well is about 120 miles from the Egyptian coast, at a depth of nearly 4,800 feet.

Eni says after full development, the discovery will be able to ensure satisfying Egypt's natural gas demands "for decades."

GENERAL MILLS-CLIMATE CHANGE

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) -- General Mills says it's eager to do its part to fight climate change, so it's setting a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next decade -- from farm to fork to landfill.

The giant food company outlined its plans to The Associated Press ahead of an official announcement today.

General Mills says it will invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy in its own operations. But its plan appears to stand apart from other companies' efforts by getting its suppliers and consumers into the act.

Those suppliers will be encouraged to do things like engage in more sustainable agriculture.

CEO Ken Powell says the company is acting because climate volatility will ultimately be bad for its business.

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