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BUSINESS TODAY

Northwest Airlines reduces service, cuts 10,000 jobs

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Northwest Airlines announced today it will cut 10,000 jobs and reduce service by 20 percent to counter a business slowdown in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Northwest is the latest in a string of carriers to sharply reduce its work force and service since the Sept. 11 attacks. Air carriers, along with aircraft maker Boeing, have announced layoffs of more than 100,000 workers.

Northwest said the cuts will be made through attrition, voluntary leaves, eliminating open positions and layoffs, Northwest said.

The airline said it would continue serving all mainline destinations, but the number of flights would be reduced.

Mortgage rates at low for year

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage rates around the country declined this week with rates on 30-year and 15-year mortgages dropping to their lowest levels this year.

The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.80 percent, down from 6.86 percent last week, according to the nationwide survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the mortgage company.

It marked the sixth week in a row that 30-year mortgages have been under 7 percent. This week's mark surpassed the record low for the year of 6.96 percent which had been set in March and marked the lowest level for 30-year mortgages since they averaged 6.77 percent the week of Feb. 12, 1999.

Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, dipped to 6.30 percent this week, compared with 6.39 percent the previous week, and the lowest level since Oct. 2, 1998.

On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.58 percent, down from 5.62 percent the previous week.

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