SC business notebook, Feb 13

February 13, 2014 

Stock listings unavailable

Stock listings will not run in The State’s Business pages Thursday. Early deadlines due to the inclement weather did not allow time for the newspaper staff to include listings compiled of stocks of local interest. The stock listings will return when the weather and deadlines return to normal.

Amazon hiring again

Amazon says it is hiring more than 2,500 full-time workers at its order fulfillment centers around the U.S., including the one in West Columbia. Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday that the jobs also are available in Chester, Va., and Petersburg, Va.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Dupont, Wash.; and Murfreesboro, Tenn. The world’s largest online retailer says last year it hired more than 20,000 people at its fulfillment centers, with more than half starting out as seasonal workers. Amazon says the median income for people working at its order-fulfillment facilities is higher than at traditional retailers. The Seattle-based company had 117,300 full-time and part-time employees at the end of 2013, according to a regulatory filing.

Homeowners keeping up with mortgages

U.S. homeowners are doing a better job of keeping up with mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the rate of late payment on home loans to the lowest level in more than five years. The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell in the October-December quarter to 3.85 percent from 5.08 percent a year earlier, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday. The last time the mortgage delinquency rate was lower was 3.61 percent in the second quarter of 2008. The firm’s data go back to the second quarter of 2007. The latest rate also declined from 4.09 percent in the third quarter, the firm said. Struggling homeowners have seen their finances shorn up by rising home values, an improving job market and efforts to restructure home loans so they’re more affordable. That has enabled them to make timely payments.

Engine problems more frequent in 3-year-old cars

Owners of three-year-old vehicles are reporting more problems than they did a year ago, according to J.D. Power and Associates’ annual survey of vehicle dependability. It’s the first time since 1998 that the average number of problems per vehicle has increased. J.D. Power says engine issues accounted for most of the increase. The firm blames new technology to save fuel, like stop-start systems. Owners reported an average of 133 problems per 100 vehicles, up from 126 problems in 2013. Only problems from the past 12 months are counted. Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac had the vehicles with the fewest reported problems. Mini, Dodge and Land Rover had the most. The survey questioned 41,000 owners.

The Associated Press contributed.

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