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Stocks about flat…Mortgage rates drop…Facebook blames ‘server configuration change’ for outages

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks indexes are moving between small gains and losses in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Banks, technology and industrial stocks are rising, while communications stocks fall. Apple, JPMorgan Chase and General Electric are higher. Facebook slumped amid reports of a criminal investigation into its data-sharing practices. Dollar General dropped after reporting weak quarterly results.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates are lower this week, with the benchmark 30-year home loan reaching its lowest level in more than a year as a potential inducement to homebuyers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.31 percent from 4.41 percent last week. It’s the lowest since February 2018. A year ago the average stood at 4.44 percent. The average rate this week for 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 3.76 percent from 3.83 percent last week.

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says its outages over the past day were the result of a “server configuration change.” The outages affected countless users and advertisers worldwide. Some people weren’t able to reach Facebook’s website and apps, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook didn’t say how many users were affected by the outages, which started midday yesterday, or why they lasted so long. There were still sporadic problems this morning.

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for the Chinese electronics giant Huawei (HWAH’-way) have entered a not-guilty plea in a U.S. case charging the company with violating Iran trade sanctions. The company was arraigned today on an indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors have accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong front company to trade with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. They allege the daughter of Huawei’s founder lied to banks about those dealings while serving as the company’s chief financial officer.

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers have defeated, by the narrowest of margins, an attempt by Parliament to wrest control of Brexit from the Conservative government’s hands in order to break the country’s deadlock over leaving the European Union. The House of Commons voted 314-312 against a call to postpone Britain’s departure, scheduled for March 29, and rearrange Parliament’s timetable so that lawmakers could try to find an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May’s rejected Brexit divorce deal.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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