Money in a Minute: Headlines From Around the Web

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In today's news: ExxonMobil cleans up, Bank of America hikes late fees, home sales defy the experts and creep up, the Texas drought worsens, and Wal-Mart is reloading on gun sales.

OIL: ExxonMobil’s $10.65 billion earnings are second-best in company’s history

A record-setting recession has led to record-setting profits for at least one oil company. “ExxonMobil earned nearly $11 billion in the first quarter,” USA Today reports. “The quarter was Exxon’s best since it earned a record-setting $14.83 billion in 2008’s third quarter.”

BANKING: Bank of America to hike interest rates for late payments

It’ll be a cruel summer for BoA customers who fall behind on their payments. “Beginning June 25, the nation’s largest credit card issuer will introduce a penalty interest rate of up to 29.99 percent on future balances for credit card customers who fail to make timely payments,” CNN reports.

HOUSING: Pending sales of existing homes in U.S. increase 5.1 percent, more than estimated

The experts who predicted doom for the housing market now say they may have been wrong. “The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in March, a sign the industry that triggered the recession may begin to stabilize,” Bloomberg reports.

FOOD: Drought in Texas intensifies, causing ‘massive’ crop losses

The worst Texas drought in 40 years is actually getting worse – and that affects the entire country. “Producers were giving up on as much as 70 percent of the state’s wheat acreage,” MSNBC reports. “The losses there and in parts of the U.S. Plains hit by drought will aggravate already short supplies around the world.”

SHOPPING: Wal-Mart brings guns back

Wal-mart stopped selling guns in most of its stores back in 2006 – not for political reasons but because no one was buying them. “Those firearms will now be available at about half of Wal-Mart’s 4,000 stores,” CNN reports. “The retailer doesn’t sell handguns in any of its stores, other than in Alaska.”

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