Stocks head lower...Jobless claims drop...Mortgage rates falling...Obama pitching foreign investors

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Associated Press

Posted on November 1, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 9:00 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is moving lower in morning trading. Investors are looking over a mixed set of earnings reports from U.S. companies. Shares of Avon Products, Kraft Foods and MetLife are lower after their profits missed Wall Street's forecasts. Time Warner Cable and Expedia are higher after beating expectations. The Dow was down about 50 points an hour into today's session, while the broader indexes are also down.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week. The Labor Department says first-time applications dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000. The partial government shutdown and backlogs in California due to computer upgrades are no longer affecting the weekly data, but they continue to inflate the four-week average. It rose 8,000 to 356,250.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates are down again. Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 4.10 percent last week, while the average on the 15-year fixed loan eased to 3.20 percent. After spiking over the summer, rates began falling in September when the Federal Reserve surprised investors by continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds. The purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is changing safety rules to let airline passengers use most electronic devices even during takeoffs and landings. However, it may not happen immediately. The planes must meet certain criteria for protecting aircraft systems from electronic interference. While most new airliners are expected to meet the standards, timing will depend upon the airline. Connections to the Internet will still be prohibited below 10,000 feet, and cellphone calls will still be prohibited.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is pitching the U.S. to foreign investors as a sound place to do business. He's scheduled to speak today at an investment summit that's been put together by the Commerce Department. It's designed to connect foreign and domestic companies and investors with economic development organizations across the country. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker says $160 billion in foreign direct investments flowed into the U.S. economy last year.

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