Entries in Price (5)


Price War: Walmart Is Latest to Drop Price of iPhone 5c

Apple, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- The iPhone 5c price drop war is on. After Best Buy announced Thursday that it was planning to offer Apple's iPhone 5c for $50 with a two-year contract -- nearly half of Apple's $99 price -- Walmart has announced that it will offer the phone for $45.

"This is what we do -- low prices is what we do," Sarah Spencer McKinney, director of corporate communications for Walmart, told ABC News. "As a price leader, we are always looking for ways to surprise our customers with low prices and disrupt the competition."

McKinney told ABC News to expect the price to remain at $45 throughout the holiday season. The deal began on Friday and is only available to customers in stores who sign a two-year contract on the handset.

While both Walmart and Best Buy maintain that this is just a deal to drive attention to the iPhone 5c, the price drop comes as the higher-end iPhone 5s has been sold out at various stores. The 5s has a faster processor, better camera and a new fingerprint reader embedded in the home button.

Apple declined to comment on the Best Buy or Walmart deals or on the specific sales numbers of the iPhone 5c.

"I think the 5c has gotten overshadowed and, given that the 5s isn't available everywhere, this is a way to get people excited about the latest and greatest Apple product," Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, told ABC News.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Home Prices Highest Since April 2006

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home prices in cities around the country surged 10 percent in the past year to highs that haven't been seen since the end of the housing bubble.

Prices around the country rose the most since April 2006, though in most places they are still well below their 2006 peak, according to the Case-Shiller house price index, which includes data through March 2013.

Phoenix, San Francisco and Las Vegas had the biggest jump in home prices, with increases of more than 20 percent compared with a year ago.

The housing market, while apparently on the road to recovery, is not yet fully healed.  A large number of homes are still in some stage of foreclosure and investors rather than first-time home buyers make up an outsized chunk of the housing market.

Many economists though are still confident that we are on the way to a healthy market. 

“This is not a bubble,” says economist Diane Swonk.  ”We are regaining lost ground which is a game-changer for most households since their home is what they rely on for wealth.”

Still the rise in home prices could be among the factors contributing to resilience in consumer spending despite a tax hike at the beginning of the year.  As home prices rise consumers feel confident to spend on other items like a new car.

The housing market in cities, including Seattle and Charlotte, is pushing back into positive territory after a couple of months in decline.  Prices were up 3 percent in Seattle compared with a month ago, and 2.4 percent in Charlotte.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Here Comes the Bill -- What Guests Spend at Weddings

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wedding season will soon be in full bloom and with it, rapidly depleted back accounts, not just for the people paying for the events but also those invited to them.

But on the bright side, as a survey by American Express Spending and Saving Tracker discovered, guests will be spending quite a bit less on average this year than in 2011.

The price tag for gifts, travel, clothing and wedding preparations will amount to about $339 -- which sounds steep, but really isn’t given that the cost this time last year was a whopping $490.

In 2012, gifts alone for close family members averaged $196, but that's now down to $166. The amount spent for newlyweds considered close friends drops to $105, while co-workers who get married are only worth $56 on average per gift from guests.

About four in ten guests say they determine what to spend based on their relationship to the couple, while a third say their personal budgets will dictate how much the gift will cost.

Overall, guests are more inclined to purchase gifts from a registry -- probably because it requires less thought -- even as couples would really prefer cash instead.

As far as what they regard as the best part of the wedding, just over 60 percent of the 1,500 adults surveyed say food is what they look forward to the most, with the venue, entertainment and wedding cake following the meal in importance.

Guests also say that the happy couple could help themselves financially by eliminating things like "save the dates," transportation for the wedding party or guests and party favors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gas Earnings: Exxon Profits Up 69%, Shell Up 30%

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell reported first quarter profit increases Thursday of 69 percent and 30 percent, respectively, from the same period last year. With rising gas and oil prices, analysts expected the five biggest oil companies -- with Exxon as the largest -- to report that they are swimming in revenue.

Exxon earned $10.7 billion in the first quarter, up from $6.3 billion. Shell announced profit of $6.3 billion in the first quarter this year, up from $4.8 billion.

BP and ConocoPhillips announced their first quarter earnings Wednesday, in a week when the biggest oil companies have begun to release their 2011 profits. The "Big Five" oil companies include BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell.

ConocoPhillips said its first quarter earnings increased 43 percent to $3 billion from $2.1 billion in the same period last year. BP's first quarter earnings dipped this year -- $5.48 billion compared with $5.60 billion during the first quarter a year ago -- including a charge of $384 million related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Valero Energy, based in San Antonio, Texas, and the largest independent U.S. refiner, announced Tuesday a first quarter profit of $98 million "primarily due to higher margins for diesel and jet fuel," compared to a first quarter loss last year of $113 million.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif., is slated to announce its earnings on Friday while Marathon Oil, based in Houston Texas, will announce its earnings Tuesday.

The national average for regular gas is $3.88 a gallon, the highest since August 2008, according to the Department of Energy this week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Biggest One-Week Oil Price Rise in Two Years Hits Consumers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASILLA, Alaska) -- As oil touched $100 a barrel this week for the first time since 2008, residents of Alaska, the state with the most expensive gas in the country – sometimes triple the country's average - say daily life is being affected in ways large and small.

According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge, Alaska has the highest average price of gas per gallon at $3.66 as of Feb. 24. The state with the least expensive gas is Wyoming, at $2.98 a gallon.

The price of oil settled at $98.13 on Friday, an astonishing jump of 14 percent or $11.93 from the previous week. This was the biggest one-week percentage increase in the price of oil in two years.

Verne Rupright, mayor of Wasilla in southern Alaska, said residents are especially price-sensitive to the commodity in the largest state in the country.

"It's going to affect everything," said Rupright. "We're definitely watching global oil prices." The price of oil may have eased after news that Saudi Arabia announced a $36 billion economic package, allaying fears that unrest would spread further in the Middle East. Many are concerned that Libya could halt exports after leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi threatened to destroy his country's oil fields.

This week, the U.S. average price of gas per gallon rose to $3.19, up 54 cents from a year ago, and slightly higher than last week's $3.14. This was the highest weekly price posted during the month of February since 1990, according to available data.

Rupright said gas in his neighborhood currently averages around $3.70. But in more rural areas like Kotzebue, in the northwest region, gas is around $7 a gallon. Rupright said he fears that with the growing price of oil, gas prices could skyrocket as they did in 2008. Three years ago in Kotzebue, he said, gas passed $12 a gallon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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