Starwatch Consumer

AT&T to start taking orders for latest Samsung Galaxy on April 16

Updated: 2013-03-28T17:12:17Z

A Galaxy not

so far away

AT&T says it will start taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4, the season’s most eagerly awaited smartphone, on April 16 for $250. That’s $50 above the usual introductory price for high-end smartphones. AT&T didn’t say when the phone would go on sale in stores, or when the pre-orders would be delivered, but pre-orders usually start a week or two before deliveries.

Tax preparers gone bad

The Justice Department said it had closed more than 30 unscrupulous tax preparers and tax fraud promoters in the past six months. They were shut down for improperly manipulating customers’ income, expenses and dependents, and for selling customers deceptive loans with exorbitant fees.

Anti-smoking ads

Government health officials on Thursday launched the second round of a graphic ad campaign designed to get smokers off tobacco, saying they think the last effort persuaded tens of thousands to quit. The ads feature sad, real-life stories: There is Terrie, a North Carolina woman who lost her voice box; Bill, a diabetic smoker from Michigan who lost his leg; and Aden, a 7-year-old boy from New York, who has asthma attacks from secondhand smoke.

Mortgage rates up slightly

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages edged up this week but remained near historic lows. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.57 percent from 3.54 percent last week. The average on the 15-year loan increased to 2.76 percent from 2.72 percent last week.

Confidence slips

Confidence among consumers fell for a second straight week . The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus-34.4 in the week ended March 24, a six-week low, from minus-33.9 in the prior period.

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