Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:
Home Prices: U.S. home prices jumped 3.8 percent in the 12 months ending in July, according to a private real estate data provider. The year-over-year increase was the biggest in six years. CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices also rose 1.3 percent in July from June. That’s the fifth straight increase in both the monthly and year-over-year price indexes.
The index is the third national measure to show steady increases. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index posted its first annual increase in nearly two years last week. And a federal government housing agency has also reported annual increases.
The states with the biggest gains according to CoreLogic over the past 12 months were Arizona, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Colorado. In Arizona, prices have risen 16.6 percent since July 2011. Idaho has posted a 10-percent gain in that time.
But not all states are seeing increases. In Delaware, prices dropped 4.8 percent in the 12-month period. Prices fell 4.6 percent in Alabama in that stretch.
Oil: The price of oil remained little changed Tuesday as traders weighed two opposing forces: Stimulus programs in Europe and the U.S. could free up cash for oil purchases, but oil supplies are plentiful and demand is weak.
U.S. benchmark crude rose a penny to $96.48 in early trading in New York. Brent crude fell 4 cents to $115.74 in London.
The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is expected to reveal a program Thursday aimed at easing borrowing costs. Last week Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the Fed could do the same. That would provide investors with cash to invest in oil.
The oil market, however, has ample supplies and world demand is weaker than expected.
The national average retail price of gasoline fell slightly to $3.82 per gallon.
ECB & Banks: A top European Central Bank officials says the ECB should be responsible for supervising the biggest financial institutions under plans to make it Europe’s central banking supervisor.
Joerg Asmussen said in a speech text it was “reasonable at least at first to limit European oversight to institutions that are systemically relevant nationally and Europe-wide.”
That means banks that are so big that their failure could threaten the entire financial system of a country or of Europe.
EU internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier advocates making the ECB supervise all banks eventually; Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says it should focus only on the biggest.
The EU’s executive commission is to unveil proposals for an ECB supervisory role on Sept. 12 as a measure against the eurozone debt crisis.
Stocks: Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street amid uncertainty over what authorities in the U.S., China and Europe might do to help the slowing world economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 13 points at 13,076 shortly after the opening bell on Tuesday. The U.S. stock market was closed Monday for Labor Day. The broader S&P 500 index fell one point to 1,405. Nasdaq edged lower by three points to 3,064.
In Europe, Moody’s warned that it could downgrade the credit rating of the European Union as a whole, citing the mounting strain of the continent’s debt crisis. That sent markets lower in Germany and France.
In the U.S., reports on August manufacturing and July construction spending are due out at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.