Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing

Article excerpt

New Home Sales Post Record; Indicators Rise

Sales of new single-family homes rose 13.3 percent last year to 756,000, their highest level in almost two decades, while the overall economy posted slow and steady growth heading into 1997, new reports showed Tuesday.

The Commerce Department said total new homes sales rose even though sales fell 1.0 percent in December. Meanwhile, the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators, a gauge of future economic growth, posted a 0.1 percent increase during December after rising a revised 0.2 percent in November. Tuesday's economic reports come as Federal Reserve officials started a two-day policy meeting. The officials were expected to announce their decision on interest rates today. Bloomberg Martha Stewart's Into Control Martha Stewart is doing even more! Stewart, whose home and garden tips launched a publishing and broadcasting empire, is buying most of her company from Time Warner Inc. to gain more control over direction and marketing. Under the agreement, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia LLC will acquire most of Martha Stewart Living Enterprises from Time Inc. for an undisclosed price. Stewart will chair the company and Time Warner will retain a minority stake. The new company will oversee the bimonthly "Martha Stewart Living" magazine, a series of books, a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated television shows and merchandising. Bloomberg Ford Vehicle Sales Up 2.6% Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its U.S. car and truck sales rose 2.6 percent in January from year-earlier levels, led by robust demand for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The No. 2 U.S. automaker said sales increased to 280,282 vehicles, with truck sales rising 14 percent to 161,416, while car sales fell 8 percent to 113,936. Ford's sales were slightly higher than analysts expected. Also Tuesday, Toyota Motor Corp. said its January sales jumped 56 percent to 106,648 vehicles, including sales of Toyota's Lexus luxury division. The Toyota division's sales rose 53 percent to 98,989. Bloomberg Seat Strike Delays SUVs, Trucks Customers wanting the hot-selling Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle and the Econoline van may have to wait longer for delivery because of a strike at a company that makes seats, Ford Motor Co. …

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