Going down slow: Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in November as higher mortgage rates and prices continued to squeeze would-be buyers out of the market. The National Association of Realtors announced today that its pending home sales index dipped 0.7% last month to 101.4. The index based on contract signings has dropped 7.7% over the past year and has recorded 11 straight year-over-year decreases. Read the full story.
Smokestack lightning: The Environmental Protection Agency is targeting an Obama-era regulation credited with helping dramatically reducing toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the benefits may not be worth the cost of the regulation. The 2011 Obama administration rule led to what electric utilities say was an $18 billion mercury cleanup. Today’s EPA proposal would keep the standards in place but challenge the the basis for their creation. Read the full story.
Communication breakdown: Many CenturyLink customers across the U.S. were without internet Thursday amid a lengthy outage that began in the morning and lasted until late at night. Monroe-based CenturyLink tweeted that its engineers had identified and repaired a “network element” that was affecting services. CenturyLink didn’t provide details of the problem and it didn’t indicate how many customers were affected. Read the full story.