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NWQWM Financial Report

U.S. home prices cooled in July at the fastest rate in the history of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, according to a new report out this morning. Home prices in July were still higher than they were a year ago, but cooled significantly from June gains. Prices nationally rose 15.8% over July 2021, well below the 18.1% gain in the previous month, according to the report. Home prices are dropping because affordability has weakened dramatically due to fast-rising mortgage rates – the average 30 year-year fixed mortgage is now edging toward 7%.

Investigators suspect sabotage after unexplained leaks affected both the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which bring natural gas from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea. Neither pipeline was pumping gas at the time of the leaks: Nord Stream 1 stopped pumping gas to Europe “indefinitely” earlier this month, with Moscow’s operator saying international sanctions on Russia prevented it from carrying out vital maintenance work. The newer pipeline Nord Stream 2, meanwhile, has never officially opened as Germany refused to certify it for commercial operations due to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The President’s plan to erase significant amounts of student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans could cost about $400 billion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a report, making it one of the costliest programs in the president’s agenda.

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