Business news briefs: Pittsburgh joins nation in rising gasoline prices

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Pittsburgh joins nation in rising gasoline prices

Pittsburgh-area gas prices increased in the past week as part of a national trend of climbing fuel prices. Local gas prices were $3.41 per gallon Monday, an increase of 2.4 cents from one week ago, according to a survey of local gas retailers by GasBuddy.com. The national average was $3.29 per gallon Monday, an increase of 4.8 cents from the previous week as prices for crude oil climbed above $100 per barrel, a result of climbing demand and shrinking supply.

Wells Fargo deal settles loans obligations

Wells Fargo says it has made a $591 million deal with Fannie Mae to settle obligations related to loans that went bad after the housing bubble burst. The deal announced Monday covers loans made through 2008. Wells Fargo & Co. says it resolves nearly all repurchase liabilities it has with Fannie Mae, the federal mortgage buyer.

Pending home sales index inches higher in November

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index ticked up to 101.7 in November from 101.5 in October. The October figure was revised lower from an initial reading of 102.1. Higher mortgage rates and strong price gains over the past two years have slowed sales. The Realtors forecast that sales will remain largely flat in 2014.

Crocs makes moves for cash infusion

The company that makes Crocs shoes is getting a $200 million bailout from a private equity fund, and CEO John McCarvel is retiring and giving up his board seat around the end of April. Crocs says it will use the money from Blackstone, plus cash on hand, for a $350 million share buyback. The deal gives Crocs a cash infusion, gives Blackstone two seats on the board and preferred shares that pay a 6 percent dividend, and gives shareholders an additional return by way of the buyback.

Giant television set launches for $150K

Samsung said a 110-inch TV that has four times the resolution of standard high-definition TVs is going on sale for about $150,000 in South Korea. The launch Monday of the giant television set reflects global TV makers' move toward ultra-HD TVs.

Tire manufacturer calls off its sale

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is calling off its sale to India's Apollo Tyres, unraveling a $2.2 billion deal announced just over six months ago. Cooper said financing is no longer available and it continues to claim, as it has for months, that Apollo breached the terms of the agreement. Apollo said after the announcement Monday, which it called disappointing, that it may pursue legal remedies.


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