Delta, carriers raising cap on fares

ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines Inc. blamed persistently high fuel costs Thursday as the nation's third biggest carrier raised the cap on its most expensive fares by $100, a move that was quickly matched by several rivals. Airline stocks rose on the news.

Atlanta-based Delta boosted the cap on one-way walk-up fares to $599, up from $499, for economy class and to $699 for first class. The move comes six months after it announced a ticket price overhaul designed to draw in more business travelers.

Mortgage rates rise for second week

WASHINGTON - Mortgage rates around the country rose for a second straight week but still remain below rates seen a year ago.

In its weekly survey, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday that rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.66 percent, up from last week's 5.62 percent.

S&P reaches four-year high

NEW YORK - A trifecta of good news - positive economic data, strong earnings and a sharp drop in oil prices - sent stocks sharply higher Thursday and lifted the Standard & Poor's 500 index to a four-year high. The Nasdaq composite index also moved into positive territory for 2005.

Inflation contained again in June

WASHINGTON - Consumer prices in June were well-behaved for a second month, while consumer spending revved up overall economic activity.

Two government reports released Thursday showed that inflationary pressures were contained in June. At the same time, consumers hit the shopping malls and dealer showrooms, spurred by the start of summer and attractive auto incentives.

- From wire reports