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January 15, 2015 01:38 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Disappointing results from Bank of America, Citigroup and other companies are dragging stocks down in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Target rose after the retailer announced plans to close down its stores in Canada. The S&P 500 has lost 2 percent this week and is on track for its third straight week of losses.

  • Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have fallen for the third straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage slid to 3.66 percent this week from 3.73 percent last week. The rate for the 15-year loan declined to 2.98 percent from 3.05 percent last week.
  • Bank of America is reporting an 11 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings today, caused partly by the slowdown in trading revenue that has hit Wall Street. The bank earned $3.05 billion for the three-month period ending in December, compared with a profit of $3.44 billion a year earlier. Citigroup's fourth-quarter profit dropped 86 percent after incurring large legal and restructuring charges. The bank earned $350 million for the period compared $2.5 billion for that period a year ago.
  • A report by the World Economic Forum says geopolitical issues will be the biggest threat to global stability over the coming decade. Experts surveyed for the 2015 Global Risks Report say "interstate conflict with regional consequences" will create the greatest risk, ahead of extreme weather, infectious diseases, climate change and sky-high youth unemployment. The report helps set the tone for discussions at the annual WEF gathering in Davos, Switzerland, which starts next week.
  • Furniture retailer Ikea is recalling 169,000 baby crib mattresses in the U.S. and Canada after receiving two reports of infants getting trapped between the mattress and the end panels. Ikea says the children were not injured. The recall applies to mattresses used for Ikea's Vyssa-style cribs. Ikea says some of the mattresses are too short for the crib, posing a risk of entrapment.
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