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The U.S. service sector grew last month at the slowest pace in more than six years. The Institute for Supply Management services index fell to 51.4 in August. That was much weaker than expected, still, anything above 50 signals growth, and services firms have now expanded for 79 straight months. (AP)

Mortgage application volume increased 0.9% last week. Volume is nearly 28% higher than one year ago, fueled largely by higher refinance volume. Refinancing’s are up 43% from a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 7% higher from a year ago. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is 3.68%. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Oregon’s largest employer, Intel, is reinventing the company by establishing new markets for its chips beyond the fading PC business. Intel has purchased Silicon Valley chipmaker Movidius, whose technology helps computers process what cameras capture. Details and terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Oregon Live)

Health care benefits make up 7.6% of a company’s budget and equate to an average of $8,669 per employee. Employers pay 77% percent of employee coverage and 59% of family coverage on average. (Health Care Benchmarking Report)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

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