Compiled from wire reports
Trucking union approves contract
Union workers at Roadway Corp., Yellow Corp. and two other trucking companies approved a five-year contract covering 65,000 workers, avoiding a dispute that could have led customers to switch to non-union rivals.
Some 84 percent of drivers, dockworkers and clerks at the two biggest U.S. truckers, and at Arkansas Best Corp. and a US Freightways Corp. unit ratified the agreement, said Rob Black, a spokesman for the Teamsters union. Hourly wages will rise 2.2 percent a year to $22.11 after five years, and the companies agreed to pay $3.10 an hour to preserve benefits such as employer-paid health insurance premiums.
Mortgage rates climb for second week
Mortgage rates rose sharply for the second week in a row, with benchmark 30-year mortgage rates at their highest level since late January.
The average interest rate on a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage was 5.91 percent for the week ending March 28, the mortgage company Freddie Mac reported Thursday in its weekly nationwide survey.
Last week, rates on 30-year mortgages were 5.79 percent, after dipping to a record low rate of 5.61 percent the week before. That rate was the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking 30-year mortgages in 1971. Records that reach back earlier than Freddie Mac's indicate that the rate is the lowest since the early 1960s.
The recent rise in rates reflected a hope in financial markets that the war in Iraq would be swift, economists said. That caused investors to shift money into stocks from bonds. As a result, bond prices declined and interest rates on bonds rose.
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