SC business notebook, July 4

Boeing delivers more planes than Airbus in 1st half of year

Boeing delivered more planes than Airbus during the first half of this year. Boeing has delivered 306 jetliners so far, including 17 787s – some of them built at a newly opened plant in North Charleston. Boeing is playing catch-up with those deliveries because of problems with the 787’s battery earlier this year. Boeing is aiming to deliver 60 of those planes this year. Airbus has delivered 295 civilian planes this year. It delivered more of its smaller A320 family of planes than the comparable Boeing jets. Airbus handed over 233 of its A320 family of planes, compared to Boeing’s deliveries of 218 of its 737s.

New York looks into businesses paying workers with ATM-type cards

The New York Attorney General’s office is looking at a little more than 20 businesses for their use of ATM-type cards to pay some of their workers. The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says it sent letters to companies including Wendy’s Co., Home Depot, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The letters request by July 22 documents related to the payroll card systems used by each business so that they can ensure the companies comply with laws that try to keep workers from being beset by fees for using the cards. Schneiderman’s office requested information such as fee schedules and documents showing that employees being paid via the ATM-type cards gave advance written consent.

Environmental group says Pepsi’s caramel coloring still contains worrisome level of carcinogen

An environmental group said Wednesday that the caramel coloring used in Pepsi still contains a worrisome level of a carcinogen, even after the drink maker said it would change its formula. In March, PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. both said they would adjust their formulas nationally after California passed a law mandating drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens come with a cancer warning label. The changes were made for drinks sold in California when the law passed. The chemical is 4-methylimidazole, or 4-Mel, which can form during the cooking process and, as a result, may be found in trace amounts in many foods. Watchdog group The Center for Environmental Health found via testing that while Coke products no longer test positive for the chemical, Pepsi products sold outside of California still do. Pepsi said its caramel coloring suppliers are changing their manufacturing process and will be finished in February 2014. Meanwhile, the company said the FDA and other agencies consider Pepsi’s caramel coloring safe.

U.S. mortgage rates ease after last week’s surge

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages eased this week after last week’s surge, declines that could prompt homebuyers to act quickly before rates rise further. Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.29 percent. That’s down from 4.46 percent last week, the highest in two years and a full point more than a month ago. The average on the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.39 percent, down from 3.50 percent last week – the highest since August 2011.

The Associated Press contributed.