Mortgage applications drop as interest rates rise

The Mortgage Bankers Association said interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages rose this week for the ninth straight week to 4.68 percent. Instead of customers rushing to lock in rates, loan applications dropped 3.1 percent last week, reports Reuters.


Judge rules Apple conspired to set e-book prices

A New York federal judge ruled today that Apple Inc. "played a central role" in helping publishers conspire to raise the prices of e-books in 2010 in order to support the launch of the first iPad tablet, according to MarketWatch. The ruling, in a Department of Justice lawsuit against five major book publishers, found that thepublishers would not have succeeded in raising the price of e-books without the help of Apple. The publishers settled with the Justice Department before the case went to trial. A separate court proceeding will determine damages.


UnitedHealthcare to double accountable care contracts in next 5 years

UnitedHealthcare, the country's largest health insurer, said it expects its accountable health care contracts to double by 2017 - meaning it will reimburse providers according to how well and how affordably they provide health care  rather than on the current fee-for-service basis. The company said it now has accountable care relationships with more than 575 hospitals, 1,100 medical groups and 75,000 doctors across the country, but expects more providers to move to accountable care contracts over the next five years, reports Reuters.