AP Top Business News at 2:29 p.m. EDT

Ford surprises with lower 2Q profit on trouble in US, China
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co.'s shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings and warned that things could get worse in the second half of the year....

US homeownership rate of 62.9 percent matches a 51-year low
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The proportion of U.S. households that own homes has matched its lowest level in 51 years - evidence that rising property prices, high rents and stagnant pay have made it hard for many to buy....

Average US 30-year mortgage rate edges up to 3.48 percent
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged higher this week for a second straight week. They still are near historically low levels to encourage potential homebuyers....

5 cool things to do with Facebook Messenger
NEW YORK (AP) -- You'd be wrong to think that Facebook's Messenger app is all about messaging....

Chipotle branching out, plans to open burger restaurant
NEW YORK (AP) -- Chipotle is branching out from burritos and plans to open its first burger restaurant....

AP Newsbreak: US oil, gas applications could drop 40 percent
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- U.S. officials announced plans Thursday to speed up the permitting process for oil and gas drilling on federal lands to reduce delays, as applications were projected to be down 40 percent in coming years versus their historical average amid an ongoing price slump....

Oracle buying 'cloud' business software provider NetSuite
NEW YORK (AP) -- Software mogul Larry Ellison once famously mocked cloud computing as a fad. Now his company, Oracle, will spend $9.3 billion to acquire cloud upstart NetSuite....

Stocks hesitate as investors work through earnings
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were edging slightly lower Thursday, as investors worked through another batch of mixed earnings' results, including results from Facebook, Ford and Whole Foods....

Germany's Merkel: US trade deal 'absolutely' in EU interest
BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended a planned trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union as "absolutely in Europe's interest."...

Gig economy arrives in China (officially); ride-sharing a go
BEIJING (AP) -- China's Cabinet issued its first rules for ride-hailing and told local officials Thursday to promote the booming industry, confirming the legal status of Uber Technologies Inc. and local competitors following run-ins with regulators....

Business Video
Multimedia
Captains of industry: Comparing CEO pay and performance
Unemployment by the numbers
Up to the Minute
Ford surprises with lower 2Q profit on trouble in US, China

Long-term US mortgage rates edge higher this week

Watchdog: IMF response to European crisis "uneven"

Average US 30-year mortgage rate edges up to 3.48 percent

GNC CEO steps down, guidance suspended, shares plunge

US homeownership rate of 62.9 percent matches a 51-year low

Stocks hesitate as investors work through earnings

Secrets to choosing a good lease car

Railroads might have to let rivals serve their customers

Markets Right Now: US stocks open lower