Stocks fall...Net worth rises...House panel to investigate Wells Fargo

Posted September 16

— Energy companies are leading a broad decline on Wall Street as the price of crude oil turns lower. Bank stocks are also falling, led by a plunge in Deutsche (DOY'-chuh) Bank. That's after the giant German bank said it wouldn't settle with the U.S. Department of Justice over its handling of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

U.S. household wealth is on the rise. The Federal Reserve says net worth climbed 1.2 percent in the April-to-June quarter, pushed by steady gains in home values and stock portfolios. Money in checking and saving accounts also rose slightly. Mortgage debt rose 2.5 percent, the most since the recession, suggesting that Americans are growing more confident about their ability to handle more debt. Net worth reflects the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus mortgages, credit card debt and other borrowing.

A House panel says it's starting an investigation of Wells Fargo over its opening of millions of unauthorized accounts. The House Financial Services Committee says it will investigate activity by Wells Fargo employees to meet aggressive sales goals as well as the role of federal regulators in the matter. It plans to summon summon Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf to testify at a hearing this month. California and U.S. regulators fined Wells Fargo a combined $185 million last week.

The Associated Press and two other news organizations are suing the FBI to learn who was paid to hack into a locked iPhone as part of a California terrorism investigation, and how much the FBI spent. The suit was filed today in federal court in Washington under the Freedom of Information Act. It seeks details about the FBI's contract with the unidentified vendor, including the amount it paid for the tool to access the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The other plaintiffs are Gannett Co. and Vice Media LLC.

Federal aviation officials say so many people are registering drones and applying for drone pilot licenses, they wonder if there will eventually be millions of drones crowding the nation's skies. The director of the Federal Aviation Administration says new registrations are coming in at a rate of 2,000 a day. Earl Lawrence told a government-industry committee today that 550,000 drones have been registered with the agency. By comparison, the FAA says there are just over 260,000 manned aircraft registered in the U.S.


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