Report says Penney will drop Stewart
NEW YORK — J.C. Penney might be ending the tug-of-war with its nemesis over Martha Stewart.
The chain is reportedly dumping the Martha Stewart brand, after sales failed to live up to expectations. The move, reported by the New York Post on Thursday, comes as a judge is expected to rule in a lengthy court battle between J.C. Penney Co. and rival Macy’s Inc. over whether Macy’s has an exclusive right to sell some of her products.
Mortgage rates near year’s highs
WASHINGTON — Average fixed rates on U.S. long-term mortgages neared their highs for the year this week amid signs of further strength in the economy.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan was 4.57 percent this week. That’s up from 4.51 percent last week and close to the high this year of 4.58 percent reached Aug. 22.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose from 3.54 percent to 3.59 percent. That’s near the year’s high of 3.6 percent.
In other news
AMERICANS’ CAUTIOUS spending on clothing extended into August, capping a weak back-to-school selling season for retailers. Overall, revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 3.6 percent, according to a tally of 10 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s up from July’s 3.5 percent gain, but below the 6 percent gain in August 2012.