Business news briefs: Howard Hanna's Elk County office opens after joint deal

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Howard Hanna's Elk County office opens after joint deal

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services announced it has opened its 147th office in Saint Mary's, Elk County, thanks to a joint agreement with North Star Realty Group. Howard Hanna has offices in five states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, New York and West Virginia with more than 4,700 sales associates, management and staff.

New home purchases fall amid higher mortgage rates

Americans cut back sharply in July on their purchases of new homes, a sign that higher mortgage rates may weigh on the housing recovery. The Commerce Department said Friday that U.S. sales of newly built home dropped 13.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000, the lowest pace in nine months.

Airports, Justice Department pursue different court dates

US Airways and American Airlines said Thursday they want a Nov. 12 court date to argue their case for a merger in front of a judge, but the U.S. Department of Justice wants to schedule the trial up to six months from now, which would put it in February. A federal judge will make the scheduling decision. US Airways and American had planned to close their merger as soon as the end of this month. The executives were so sure of receiving antitrust approval that US Airways CEO Doug Parker had already moved to the Dallas area, where the merged company would be headquartered.

Grand Cherokee probe follows inflammability woes

U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the ceilings can catch fire in 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. The probe, announced Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers an estimated 146,000 of the popular sport utility vehicles. Customers with concerns can consult with dealers or call Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

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