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Stocks slide...IMF chief: Focus on job growth...Mortgage rates approach record lows

Thursday - 4/18/2013, 3:31pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- The major stock indexes appear headed for their third loss of the week, following as disappointing earnings from a range of companies. Morgan Stanley, UnitedHealth Group and eBay are among those sliding. But shares of Verizon, Pepsi and Union Pacific are climbing after reporting better quarterly results.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the International Monetary Fund says the United States, Europe, Japan and China all need to make adjustments to their economic policies in order to boost the struggling global economy. At a Washington news conference, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the United States and many countries in Europe need to focus more on growth and less on trimming budget balances. She says there's a critical need for policies focused on spurring jobs.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage rates have fallen some more this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan dipped to 3.41 percent from 3.43 percent last week. That's not far from the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, which was the lowest on records dating back to 1971. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.64 percent from 2.65 percent the previous week. That nearly matches the record low of 2.63 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has passed legislation aimed at helping businesses protect their networks against foreign hackers. It would allow businesses and the federal government to share technical data without worrying about anti-trust or classification laws, and would grant businesses legal immunity if hacked so long as they acted in good faith to protect their networks. But the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate and the threat of a presidential veto over privacy concerns.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate Energy Committee has overwhelmingly endorsed the nomination of physicist Ernest Moniz to lead the Energy Department. Moniz, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has said he supports Obama's all-of-the-above approach to energy and that a sharp increase in natural gas production is nothing less than a "revolution."

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