WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. banks' earnings declined 7.7 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier, as higher interest rates dampened demand for mortgage refinancing and reduced banks' revenue from the mortgage business.<br />
The data issued Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. highlighted the impact of the increase in interest rates that occurred in the spring of 2013.<br />
It was only the second time in the last 19 quarters that the banking industry, which has been recovering from the financial crisis, posted a decline in net income from the year-earlier quarter.<br />
The FDIC reported that the banking industry earned $37.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, down from $40.3 billion in the same period in 2013.<br />
The number of banks on the FDIC's problem list fell to 411 from 467.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
Evoking history and appealing for solidarity, President Barack Obama on Monday cast his decision to send 250 more troops to Syria as a bid to keep up "momentum" in the campaign to dislodge Islamic State extremists. He pressed European allies to match the U.S. with new contributions of their own.
Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha filed a federal lawsuit against New York City on Wednesday, alleging he was unjustly arrested outside of a trendy nightclub last year during a fracas that left him with a broken leg and ended his NBA season.