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Home mortgage applications rise

NEW YORK » Applications for mortgages to buy homes rose last week for the third straight week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said overall applications increased 5.8 percent from a week earlier, driven by increases in purchase and refinance requests.

Those taken out to buy homes rose 5.5 percent from the previous week, and refinance applications increased 6 percent.

Mortgage rates have been at or near the lowest levels in decades since spring as investors have poured money into safer Treasury bonds. That has lowered their yields, which mortgage rates tend to track.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s survey covers more than 50 percent of all applications nationwide.


» Giant Bicycle Inc. is recalling 370 of its 2011 model Giant Anthem X 29er mountain bicycle. The bikes were manufactured in Taiwan and imported by the Newbury Park, Calif.-based company. They were sold in small, medium and large sizes at bicycle dealers nationwide in August. The bike frame can crack and cause a rider to fall. No injuries have been reported. Call 866-458-2555 or visit or

» Pottery Barn is recalling 7,300 lamps manufactured in India and sold at the chain’s stores, through the company’s catalog and on its website from July 2009 through August 2010. Included in the recall are Pottery Barn’s Clay Task Lamp, the Montgomery Task Lamp and the Montgomery Floor Lamp. All have bronze-colored finishes. A wire running through the lamps could be pinched or severed at the lamp’s adjustable point. The company has received one report of a woman getting a jolt. Call 877-851-7890 or visit or


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