Lots of earnings after the bell today. Stocks are under pressure as international violence continues to be a wet blanket on investors.
A new report shows US companies increased worker wages in the second quarter at a rate more than double of a year earlier. Wage growth has been almost non-existent during this recovery and some see this as a welcome sign. It was the first report since third quarter of 2012 that no respondents reported declining wages. (National Association for Business Economics)
Some tax reform may be coming our way. The US House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act last week. The bill makes three tax breaks permanent: the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory by businesses, the deduction for contributions of conservation easements, and a provision that allows senior citizens to tap their IRAs for charitable donations without incurring a tax penalty. (Portland Business Journal)
US mortgage rates continue to be at near historic lows. The 30-year fixed rate stands at 4.15%. Mortgage rates are now below the lows of last year when the Federal Reserve said they would end their bond purchase program. (Associated Press)
Surging consumption of chocolate in Asia is pushing cocoa-bean prices to the highest level in three years. While demand in the region ranked as the world’s lowest per capita in 2013, the market will grow at almost twice the global rate over the next four years putting pressure on supply. (Bloomberg)