Greece to keep banks closes, schedules a referendum as debt repayment deadline looms. Read about this and more of the day's top business news stories.
Bad News Bear
A stuffed Teddy bear, even a talking, foul-mouthed one, is no match for dinosaurs. “Ted 2” came in third place at the box office in its opening weekend with a less-tha-expected $32.9 million. “Jurassic World” held the top spot for the third consecutive weekend with $54.2 million. It has taken in $1.2 billion worldwide and its $500 domestically makes it the fifth high-grossing release of all time. Pixar’s “Inside Out” held the No. 2 spot in its second week of release. Rounding out the top five are the family drama, “Max,” about a canine military veteran, and “Spy.”
Pending Home Sales Up 3.4 Percent
The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sale Index data for April 2015, released Monday, shows a 3.4 percent increase in pending home sale activity from the previous month. the index value for pending home sales was 112.4, up from 108.7. It is the highest recorded index value in the past five months,
Greek Banks to Remain Shut
Greek banks will remain shut indefinitely and restrictions imposed on cash withdrawals, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced during a nationally televised address to the nation. For the past two days, Greeks have rushed to ATMs to withdraw money across the country following Tsipras’ surprise weekend decision to call a referendum on creditor proposals for Greek reforms in return for crucial bailout funds, the Associated Press reports. The government contends the austere measures would prolong the country’s financial woes. Negotiations with Greece’s European creditors have been suspended. The referendum is set for next Sunday, but its current bailout expires on Tuesday and the 7.2 euros remaining in it will not be available to Greece after that date, putting in peril its ability to meet a debt repayment date that same day.
Falcon Launches Suspended after Explosion
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket disintegrated in a fiery explosion on Sunday just two minutes after its launch with a robotic Dragon cargo capsule headed for the International Space Station, USA TODAY reports. It was the third failure of a space station resupply mission in eight months. SpaceX billionaire founder Elon Musk tweeted that the explosion was the result of “an overpressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank.” Falcon 9 rocket launches will be suspended pending FAA sign-off on SpaceX’s findings.
China Makes 4th Cut in Interest Rate
The People’s Bank of China announced over the weekend its fourth round of interest cuts in seven months. The world’s second-largest economy has seen a nearly 20 percent drop in China’s stock market over the past two weeks. China’s central bank previously cut rates on Nov. 22, March 1 and May 11. The new rates took effect Sunday. The rate on a one-year loan by commercial banks was cut by 0.25 percentage point to 4.85 percent. The interest rate paid on a one-year deposit would be lowered by 0.25 point to 2 percent.
Volkswagen to Launch Budget Car Line in 2018
Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn told a German newspaper Sunday that the German automaker plans to launch a family of low cost cars in China and possibly elsewhere in 2018, Reuters reports. The cars will cost between 8,000 euros ($8,932) and 11,000 euros. The line will include an SUV, sedan and hatchback. The cars will initially only be sold in China.