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Afternoon Business Brief

January 29, 2009, 3:05 PM

Afternoon Business Brief

A dive in sales of new homes helped to renew worries about the economy. The Dow has been down in triple-digit fashion Thursday.

  • The Commerce Department says sales of new homes fell 14.7 percent last month. It was the slowest annual sales pace on records going back to 1963.  
  • President Barack Obama has signed an equal-pay bill into law. It effectively nullifies a 2007 Supreme Court decision, making it easier for workers to sue for discrimination by allowing them more time to do so.
  • Ford suffered the worst annual loss in its 105-year history as sales slumped around the world. Even after
    burning through $5.5 billion in cash last quarter, second-largest U.S. automaker says it still has no plans to seek federal loans.
  • A small but growing number of community banks are backing out of the government's bailout, which they see as fraught with hidden strings and government interference. About 20 banks so far that applied for or had been approved to receive about $1 billion combined in taxpayer money have reversed course in the
    past month, now refusing the money.

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