PNC will review mortgage applications over maternity
PNC Financial Services Group agreed to review mortgage applications in Pennsylvania and seven other states as part of a settlement with the federal government over allegations that the bank discriminated against a mortgage applicant on maternity leave by requiring her to return to work before the home loan was approved. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, PNC will pay $15,000 to the woman in Connecticut, and $7,500 to any borrowers it turns up in its review whose applications for home loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were denied because they were pregnant or on maternity leave. PNC issued a statement saying it's "committed to serving everyone, regardless of family status."
Equity fund will receive Michael Baker information
Private equity fund DC Capital Partners, which has made an all-cash offer for Michael Baker, disclosed one of its affiliates has signed a confidentiality agreement with the Moon engineering firm that will allow it to receive nonpublic information about the company. The Alexandria, Va., firm owns 5.2 percent of Baker's shares and in December offered to purchase the rest for $24.25 per share. The confidentiality agreement prohibits DC Capital from acquiring additional shares and from soliciting proxies in connection with a takeover of the company. Baker shares closed Thursday at $24.67, down 26 cents.
Mylan recalls heart medication carvedilol
Mylan Pharmaceuticals in Morgantown, W.Va., is recalling 11,580 bottles of 500-count carvedilol tablets because of out-of-specification results for tablet weight and thickness, according to a Food and Drug Administration enforcement report Thursday. The nationwide recall, initiated Jan. 16, involves lot numbers ZCMH12031, ZCMH12032, ZCMH12033 and ZCMH12034. Carvedilol is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
Indiana-based coffee shop wins $10,000 in contest
Commonplace Coffee, which is based in Indiana, Pa., and has several area locations, was one of 20 small businesses to win $10,000 in a contest from mobile commerce company Square and credit card company Visa. Winners were chosen based on number of transactions using the mobile Square Wallet app.
Unemployment benefit applications drop
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 350,500, the lowest in nearly five years.
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Greenlight Capital rebels
With its annual meeting looming and its stock on the decline, Apple is facing a rebellion from an influential investor who wants the company to stop stockpiling cash and give it to shareholders. Greenlight Capital said Thursday that it is suing Apple in a New York federal court over the company's proposal to make it more difficult for it to issue preferred stock. David Einhorn, who heads the investment fund, wants Apple to stop tucking its money away in low-yielding bank accounts. In a statement Thursday, the Cupertino, Calif., company said it will consider his proposal.
Consumer borrowing rises
Consumer borrowing in the U.S. rose in December for a fifth straight month as non-revolving credit surged by the most in 11 years. The $14.6 billion gain followed a revised $15.9 billion advance in November, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. Non-revolving debt, such as financing for college tuition and auto purchases, jumped $18.2 billion in December, while credit-card borrowing fell by $3.6 billion, the most since July.
Also in business ...
The productivity of U.S. workers fell in the fourth quarter as the economy shrank, pushing labor expenses up. The measure of employee output per hour decreased at a 2 percent annual rate, the worst performance in almost two years, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. ... Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan stayed at 3.53 percent. The rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage dropped to 2.77 percent.
From staff and wire reports