NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are seeing modest gains in early trading on Wall Street, putting the Standard & Poor's 500 index on track for its third straight week of gains. If the S&P 500 ends the week higher, it would be the longest stretch of weekly gains since an eight-week span from early October through November.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of existing U.S. homes plummeted in January to the worst pace in 18 months. The National Association of Realtors says sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million units last month. That was down 5.1 percent from the December pace. Cold weather, limited supplies of homes on the market and higher buying costs held back purchases.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fannie Mae has now had eight profitable quarters in a row. It reports net income of $6.5 billion from October through December. After Fannie pays a dividend of $7.2 billion to the U.S. Treasury next month, it will have more than fully repaid the $116 billion it received from taxpayers. The government rescued Fannie and sibling Freddie Mac in 2008. The two companies own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages.
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon has completed a deal worth about $130 billion to take over all of Verizon Wireless. New York-based Verizon Communications has acquired a 45 percent stake in its wireless division from Vodafone Group, issuing about 1.27 billion shares of common stock to the British cellphone carrier's shareholders. Both companies' shareholders approved the transaction last month.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Athletic gear maker Under Armour has signed an eight-year deal with U.S. Speedskating, despite a controversy over the suit it provided the team at the Sochi Olympics. Under Armour spent years developing a new speedskating suit that some have blamed for a poor showing by American speedskaters in Sochi. The team reverted to an older Under Armour suit, but results didn't improve. Under Armour says it's ready to try again and hopes to move past the controversy.