Markets: 10-year Treasury yields hit 3 percent
“The most widely watched bond rate in the world just hit a milestone,” said Paul La Monica in CNN.com. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which influences rates for auto loans and mortgages, topped 3 percent this week for the first time since 2014. “For Americans, that means borrowing costs are on the way up.” The climb triggered a stock market sell-off early in the week, as investors worried that “higher interest rates may eat into corporate profits and that faster inflation is coming.”
Toys: Mattel loses another CEO
Mattel has appointed its fourth CEO in four years as it continues to search for answers to a prolonged sales slump, said Dana Cimilluca and Paul Ziobro in The Wall Street Journal. Margo Georgiadis, the toy company’s current CEO, exited the firm this week, after serving for only one year. Ynon Kreiz, a former studio executive, has taken over leadership of the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars. Mattel has struggled to adapt “to a fast-changing industry where online content and movies are increasingly critical in capturing children’s attention.”
Retail: Sears CEO proposes buying retailer’s assets
Sears Holdings CEO and hedge fund investor Eddie Lampert is proposing to purchase the troubled retailer’s assets, said Nathan Bomey in USA Today. Lampert’s own hedge fund revealed this week it had written to Sears “offering to work out a deal to help the distressed company raise cash.” The offer includes buying Sears’ real estate, the Kenmore brand, and other assets. If the deal were to be completed, it would compound “the reclusive executive’s financial entanglement with the retailer amid its decline.” So far, Lampert has orchestrated deals handing himself control of Sears’ “most valuable real estate.”
Property: Home prices rise for 70th month in a row
“Home sellers are partying like it’s 2006,” said Kathryn Vasel in CNN.com. The value of homes in the U.S. soared another 6.3 percent over the 12-month period up to February, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. The increase occurred despite mortgage rates climbing to their highest level in four years. Home prices have now risen 6.7 percent nationally from their peak in July 2006, and homeowners have enjoyed a continuous rise for the past 70 months. Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco led the gains, all recording increases above 10 percent.