Average U.S. 30-year mortgage at 4.14 percent

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year loan inched up to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent last week.

The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, rose to 3.27 percent from 3.23 percent last week.

Mortgage rates are below the levels of a year ago. They have fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term borrowing rates low.

Weekly unemployment applications fall to 289,000

Weekly applications for unemployment aid fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The prior week’s was revised up slightly to 303,000.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell 4,000 to 293,500. That’s the lowest average since February 2006, almost two years before the Great Recession began at the end of 2007.

Argentina seeking to sue U.S. at international court

Argentina is seeking to sue the United States at the world court over U.S. court rulings that last week forced the Latin American country into a default.

The International Court of Justice, commonly known as the world court, said in a statement Thursday it has received a request from Argentina to take on the case. There is a major hurdle though: the U.S. must agree to grant the international court jurisdiction if the suit is to proceed.

In a statement, the Hague, Netherlands-based court said Argentina’s filing asserted that U.S. court rulings amount to violations of Argentine sovereignty.

Survey: A quarter of U.S. households ‘just getting by’

A quarter of U.S. households say they’re just getting by financially, according to a survey released Thursday by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed described the first-time report as a snapshot of how Americans perceive their financial and economic well-being. The survey of about 4,100 households was conducted from Sept. 17 through Oct. 4, 2013.

Thirteen percent said they were struggling to get by, and 34 percent reported they were somewhat worse off or much worse off than before the Great Recession hit in 2008.

U.S. consumer credit rises at slower rate during June

U.S. consumers expanded their borrowing at a slower rate in June compared to the prior month. Overall credit rose by $18.3 billion in June to a total of $3.17 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

— From news services