Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales are off the hook, "Runner" a-"mazes" at the box office, and G-20 countries close to $2 trillion growth goal. Read about these and more of the morning's top business news stories.
Existing Home Sales Dropped 1.8 Percent in August
The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that existing home sales dropped 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.05 million units. The decline followed four straight months of gains, but the sales pace was still the second highest for the year, Reuters reports. Economists had forecast sales increasing to a 5.20 million-unit pace. Sales were down 5.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Investors accounted for only 12 percent of transactions, the smallest share since November 2009.
An A-“Mazing” Weekend at the Box office
Among the four new films that opened at the box office, “The Maze Runner” won the weekend with $32.5 million in the U.S. and Canada. “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson, came in second with $13.1 million, followed by the ensemble dramatic comedy, “This is Where I Leave You,” which brought in $11,9 million. This being the fall movie season, all three are based on books not of the comic kind. Rounding out the top five were last week’s surprise No. 1 film, “No Good Deed” and “Dolphin Tale 2.”
G-20 Countries Close to Growth Goal of $2 Trillion
Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies announced Sunday they are close to reaching their goal of boosting world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the next five years, the Associated Press reports. The leaders said they are focusing on infrastructure investment to help reach the target. The G-20, whose members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union, represents about 85 percent of the global economy.
Demand for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is Off the Hook
The final numbers aren’t in, but Apple appears to have rung up another record weekend for opening sales of its new iPhone and 6 Plus. Consumers stood in line for days to be among the first to buy the hotly anticipated new phones. USA TODAY reports an Apple Store in Atlanta had a line 300 deep. Driving demand is that Apple upsized screen sizes for the iPhone 6 (to 4.7-inches) and 6 Plus (5.5-inch screen). The iPhone 5 had a 4-inch display. iPhone is the No. 1 device, with 41.9 percent market share, compared to 27.8 percent for runner-up Samsung and its Galaxy line, comScore data show.
Chrysler and GM Roll Out More Recalls
Chrysler is recalling almost 189,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos in the U.S. to fix a fuel pump problem that can cause the SUVs to stall, the Associated Press reports. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted the recall on Saturday. It covers some 2011 models with 3.6-liter V6 or 5.7-liter V8 engines. Chrysler says a relay can fail, increasing the risk of a crash, although the company said that as of Aug. 25, it wasn't aware of any crashes or injuries. General Motors is recalling 221,558 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans because the brake pads can stay partially engaged even when they're not needed, increasing the risk of a fire. The recall involves Cadillacs from the 2013-2015 model years and Impalas from the 2014 and 2015 model years.
Carbon Pollution Reaches Highest Levels
The world spewed far more carbon pollution into the air last year than ever before, scientists announced Sunday. China, the United States and India are being cited as the chief culprits. The world pumped an estimated 39.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air last year by burning coal, oil and gas. That is 778 million tons or 2.3 percent more than the previous year, the Associated Press reports. Scientists forecast that emissions will continue to increase, adding that the world in about 30 years will warm by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2009, world leaders called that level dangerous and pledged not to reach it. More than 100 world leaders will meet Tuesday at the U.N. Climate Summit to discuss how to reverse the emissions trend.