This Afternoon's Top News Stories

Here's a glance at some of the items making news this afternoon outside of the European Central Bank and the new Kindle.

Ford's Continental push
Despite losses in the region, Ford (NYSE: F  ) is pushing aggressively forward in Europe, announcing today that 15 global vehicles will be on sale in Europe within five years. According to the company, Ford's plans include:

  • Bringing the iconic Ford Mustang to Europe. 
  • A redesign of the Fiesta, Europe's best-selling small car.
  • A "striking, refined new version" of the Mondeo large car.
  • New SUVs.
  • Accelerated rollout of new technologies including EcoBoost engines.

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Delta's ready to open the tap
Delta Air Lines
(NYSE: DAL  ) is restarting a Pennsylvania refinery it bought last year and plans to be producing jet fuel there at full capacity by the end of the month, according to a Reuters report. The airline expects the refinery to shave $300 million from its annual fuel bill of $12 billion, according to Reuters.  

The airline is also looking to change the source of crude refined at the Pennsylvania plant in an attempt to save even more money. Check out this Associated Press report for more on a switch to West Texas Intermediate-priced crude.

Mortgage rates and jobless claims fall
Fixed mortgage rates continue to hover around their all-time record lows. The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.55%, according to Freddie Mac. That's down a bit from the previous week and down from 4.12% last year. Fifteen-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.86% this week, according to Freddie Mac, down from 3.33% last year.

Data released today by the Department of Labor showed that fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week than in the previous week.

AIG sells to buy
American International Group
(NYSE: AIG  ) is looking to sell a stake in Hong Kong insurer AIA Group in order to raise money to buy back its own stock from the U.S. government, according to a Bloomberg report. This is the third time that AIG has offered shares of AIA, according to Bloomberg. AIG plans to sell up to $2 billion of AIA Group stock and its board of directors has authorized repurchasing up to $5 billion of AIG common stock, according to a press release. Read the Bloomberg report for more insight.

Fool.com editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of American International Group and Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in Ford Motor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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