US home prices rise at slowest pace in 7 years
U.S. home prices rose in July from a year earlier by the smallest amount in seven years, as modest sales are forcing sellers to keep costs in check.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index moved up 2% in July from a year ago, down from a 2.2% annual gain in June. Several formerly hot housing markets, such as Seattle and San Francisco, have noticeably cooled this year.
Home sales have picked up in recent months but remain modest. Low mortgage rates have recently encouraged more Americans to take the plunge and buy homes, but sales of existing homes have increased less than 3% in the past year.
Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Charlotte reported the largest price gains over the past 12 months, increasing 5.8%, 4.7%, and 4.6%, respectively.
German prosecutors indict top VW bosses over emissions scandal
German prosecutors have brought criminal charges of stock market manipulation against Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, former CEO Martin Winterkorn and Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch in connection with the carmaker's emissions cheating scandal.
The accused intentionally failed to inform investors in time about the financial impact of the scandal, the prosecutors' office in the northern city of Braunschweig said on Tuesday.
Court proceedings are underway over the company's admission in 2015 to using illegal engine control software to rig diesel emissions tests. The Braunschweig prosecutors' indictment is part of a separate legal push to try managers over allegations they delayed disclosing the scandal to investors.
Diess' lawyer said in a statement that the CEO could not have foreseen the financial market fallout and that he would continue unhindered in his role as CEO.
Winterkorn resigned in the days after the scandal broke. He told German lawmakers in early 2017 that he did not find out about the cheating any earlier than VW had officially admitted.
VW shares lost up to 37 percent in value in the days after the scandal broke.
Had investors known about VW's cheating, they might have sold shares earlier or not made purchases, plaintiffs have argued.
Sweetgreen valued at $1.6B after new funding
Here’s why you shouldn’t ignore ‘millennial stocks’
Grizzle President Thomas George joins FOX Business to discuss ‘millennial stocks’ and tech companies in the headlines, like WeWork.
The fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen is now valued at $1.6 billion, up 60 percent from November.
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Sweetgreen on Monday evening said it raised $150 million in a round of funding led by Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners.
“This foundation will allow us to push boundaries and broaden our impact, doing even more with our suppliers, partners, and technology so that together we can bring about industry-wide change,” Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman said in a press release.
The company plans to use the money for strategic investments in technology, data, supply chain and social impact. It aims to launch delivery on its own app in 2020.
Sweetgreen, whose investors include Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, has received $478.6 million in funding since launching in 2007, according to Crunchbase.
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Founded in 2007 by Neman and his Georgetown University classmates Nathaniel Ru and Nicolas Jammet, Sweetgreen has more than 400 locations and expects to expand to over 600 by the end of 2019.
Fluor to cut dividend 52% and sell assets as part of reorganization; stock gains
Shares of Flour Corp. FLR, +2.73% rallied 2.4% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the engineering, construction and maintenance company unveiled its reorganization plan, which includes cutting the dividend by 52%, selling its government and equipment businesses and cutting overhead costs by $100 million. Beginning with the next quarterly dividend declaration, Fluor said the new dividend will be 10 cents a share, down from the previous dividend of 21 cents a share. The company expects to generate more than $1 billion from asset sales, which will include the sale of its construction equipment rental company (AMECO) and its government business, and to monetize surplus real estate and non-core investments. The company said Peter Fluor has stepped down as chair of the organization and compensation committee, and has informed the company he will not stand for re-election. The stock has tumbled 33.5% over the past three months through Monday while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.01% has gained 1.6%.
A Private Equity Firm Wants to Build a Train to Las Vegas
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Virgin Trains USA has a big idea: Make train travel a hip, convenient alternative to driving in some of the most autocentric parts of the country. Backed byFortress Investment Group private equity funds, the company last year launched the country’s first new privately financed intercity passenger rail in a century along Florida’s east coast. Its Miami hub is a gleaming, citrus-perfumed station where blue-blazered employees stock the VIP lounge with complimentary charcuterie.
Now the company has Las Vegas in its sights. It says it can bring revelers there from the Los Angeles area by electric trains that can reach 150 mph. Wowed by the prospect of jobs and traffic relief, a California state agency in September approved the first step in Virgin Trains’ plans to sell as much as $4.2 billion in tax-exempt debt for the $4.8 billion project. The company says construction of the 170-mile line, mainly along the median of Interstate 15, will take three years, and it’ll start in 2023. That would make speedy rail a reality in California, where a voter-approved bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles has been beset with delays and cost overruns over the past decade.