Consumer loan applications rise amid falling mortgage rates
The increased demand for credit was spurred by consumers seeking to take advantage of lower borrowing rates to purchase homes. Mortgage application rates have fallen from 7.1% in 2018 to 7.9% this year. That matched a drop in mortgage rates, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falling to 3.73% as of December 13, 0.9 percentage points lower than the same time last year, according to Freddie. Mac. Most of these homebuyers had strong credit, with credit scores above 680.
In contrast, mortgage refinance loan applications fell slightly to 8.0% this year, from 8.3% in 2018. Auto loan application rates also fell to 12.6% this year, from 15, 5% last year.
Overall, consumers who applied for new credit this year had an easier time accessing these loans. Rejection rates fell for credit cards, mortgages and mortgage refinance applications, according to the survey. The main exception was auto loans, which saw rejection rates increase by an average of 7.1% in 2019, compared to 6.1% in 2018.
Bayer appeals Roundup ruling
Bayer said on Monday it had asked a U.S. federal appeals court to overturn a $25 million judgment it was ordered to pay to a California man who blamed the company’s weed killer Roundup for his cancer. .
In a filing with the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dated Friday, Bayer said the verdict defied regulatory findings and sound science, adding that the “speculative case” should never have be presented in front of a jury.
Bayer, in a statement, said it supports the safety of Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, and plans to vigorously defend the more than 42,700 U.S. Roundup cancer lawsuits it faces.
In its filing, Bayer said the appeal has the potential to shape how each subsequent Roundup case is litigated.
The widely used weedkiller is made by Monsanto, which Bayer acquired last year for $63 billion. Bayer stock has lost about 23% of its value since Roundup’s first verdict for plaintiffs in August 2018.
The case on appeal to the 9th Circuit involved the claims of Edwin Hardeman, which was the third Roundup case to go to trial in a US court. In March, a jury ordered Monsanto to pay $80 million in damages, finding Roundup caused the man’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The trial court judge in July reduced that verdict to $25 million.
On Monday, Hardeman’s attorneys did not comment on Bayer’s appeal.
US homebuilder sentiment hit its highest level since 1999 in December amid stronger sales and increased foot traffic from potential buyers. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index jumped five points to 76, the biggest monthly increase since the end of 2017, and the November figure was revised higher, according to data released Monday.
The British group Cineworld is on its way to becoming the largest movie theater operator in North America with its plan to buy Canada’s Cineplex for $1.64 billion. Theater operators have teamed up to cut costs so they can afford facility upgrades and counter the risk of on-demand services such as Netflix hitting attendance.
PSA Group won backing from one of its main shareholders, the French government, for its plan to merge with Fiat Chrysler, according to people familiar with the matter. The French state, which owns around 12% of PSA, backs a binding memorandum of understanding that could be approved this week, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deliberations are private.