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Home Depot suspects credit card data breach

NEW YORK (AP) – Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a credit card data breach.

The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer told the Associated Press on Tuesday that it is looking into “unusual activity” and working with both banks and law enforcement.

“Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers,” said Paula Drake, a spokeswoman at Home Depot, declining to elaborate. She said the retailer would notify customers immediately if it confirms a breach.

Shares of Home Depot Inc. fell $1.88, or 2 percent, to close at $91.15.

Many retailers have had security walls broken in recent months, including Target, grocery store chain Supervalu, P.F. Chang’s and the thrift store operations of Goodwill. The rash of breaches has rattled shoppers’ confidence in the security of their personal data and pushed retailers, banks and card companies to increase security by speeding the adoption of microchips into U.S. credit and debit cards.

Rise in home prices slows

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose in July but at a slower rate compared with earlier this year. The moderating price increases could help support sales.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices rose 7.4 percent in July from July 2013. That was slightly below June’s year-over-year increase of 7.5 percent and far below a recent peak of 11.9 percent in February.

Prices rose 1.2 percent in July from June. But CoreLogic’s monthly figures aren’t adjusted for seasonality, such as increased buying that occurs in warm weather.

The smaller price gains should make homes more affordable. Greater affordability has helped housing recover over the spring and summer after sales and construction fell earlier this year. Sales of existing homes rose for a fourth straight month in July to their strongest pace in nine months.

Cantor gets high-paying job

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor landed a job at investment bank Moelis & Co. that will pay him at least $3.4 million, more than his tea party-backed opponent spent to beat him in a Republican primary.

The base salary for “providing strategic counsel” to the firm: $400,000. He’s also set to receive an “initial cash payment” of $400,000 and $1 million in stock, according to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Next year, Cantor’s “minimum incentive compensation” will be $1.2 million, plus $400,000 in stock. The company will pay for Cantor to live in a “reasonable” New York apartment. Cantor will also take a seat on the company’s board, which will expand to seven members from six.

The compensation is a bump from his $193,400 salary as the U.S. House majority leader.

– Bloomberg News Stritt & Priebe buys firm

Stritt & Priebe of Buffalo has bought V.J. Stanley Inc., a Rochester manufacturers’ representative and distributor of hydronics and domestic hot water and steam systems since 1951. Stritt & Priebe sells industrial pipe, valves and fittings and has been a business partner with V.J. Stanley for many years.

“We are thrilled to be able to promote V.J. Stanley as a formidable company in the Western New York area,” co-owner Joel Scott said.

Scott and Bill Victor bought the family-owned Stritt & Priebe in 2007 from Edgar Priebe. They had worked there for over 35 years combined. Since their purchase, they said, the company sales and territory have more than doubled.