Fixed mortgage rates fall after last week’s surge

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week after last week’s surge. The declines could prompt home buyers to act quickly before rates rise further.

Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.29 percent. That’s down from 4.46 percent last week, the highest in two years and a full point more than a month ago.

The average on the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.39 percent, down from 3.50 percent last week — the highest since August 2011.

Steering glitch leads Toyota to recall 185,000 vehicles

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 185,000 vehicles globally, mostly in Japan and Europe, for a glitch in the power steering. No accidents have been reported related to the problem.

The recall covers 123,000 vehicles in Japan, including the Vitz compact, and 46,000 vehicles in Europe, including the Yaris, all produced between August 2010 and March 2012, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said Wednedsay.

It also covers 11,000 Subaru Trezia vehicles produced under an OEM deal, all in Japan, he said.

On Wall Street, some stocks make significant moves

Among stocks making big moves on Wall Street Wednesday:

Alcoa fell 9 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $7.71 after the Citigroup analyst Brian Yu reduced his second-quarter and full-year profit predictions for the aluminum producer, citing low prices for the metal.

AutoNation gained 71 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $45.27 after Credit Suisse raised its rating on the stock to “outperform” from “neutral,” citing a positive outlook for the company’s parts and servicing business.

Mead Johnson fell $6.05, or 8.1 percent, to $68.85 adding to a 5.7 percent slump Tuesday. The Chinese government is investigating the nutritional products maker for possibly violating anti-monopoly laws in its pricing of infant formula, Bloomberg News reported yesterday.

From news service reports