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Target ups the ante in online delivery wars

NEW YORK | How much would you be willing to pay to get those diapers within an hour or so?

In the latest salvo in the delivery wars, Target is offering same-day delivery on thousands of items for $9.99 per order through a delivery startup it purchased nearly two years ago

Until now, Target shoppers looking to receive same-day delivery through Shipt had to go to the startup’s website and pay $99 for an annual membership or $14 for a monthly membership. Those options still will be be available, but the discounter is making it easier by incorporating the Shipt feature on its website.

Target said the same-day option will cover 65,000 items and it will be fulfilled in 1,500 of its 1,800 stores in 47 states. Shoppers using Target’s loyalty card will get a 5% discount.

Ford opens Israel tech lab in move toward driverless cars

JERUSALEM | Ford has opened a research center in Israel, joining a legion of major automakers racing to develop new technologies for the world of driverless cars.

Chairman William Ford met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday as part of his visit, where he called Israel “ground zero” for technologies demanded by the fast-growing field of autonomous vehicles. General Motors, BMW and others also have recently opened Tel Aviv labs.

Netanyahu said Israel, never known for its car manufacturing, “has finally got an automotive industry.”

Ford joined 130 local and international companies at Israel’s EcoMotion conference this week promoting the country’s smart transportation sector.

Average 30-year mortgage rate holds at 3.82%

WASHINGTON | U.S. long-term mortgage rates were little changed this week, after six straight weeks of declines putting them at historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage held steady from last week at 3.82 percent, its lowest point since September 2017. By contrast, a year ago the benchmark rate stood at 4.62 percent.

The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans slipped this week to 3.26% from 3.28%.

The declining rates have been a boon to potential purchasers in the spring home buying season, and the number of prospective buyers seeking mortgages jumped last month.

Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 20.1% in May from a year earlier, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

— From AP reports