NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Friday, May 3.
Realtors: Arkansas homes in March up 7 percent
The Arkansas Realtors Association said Thursday that home sales in March rose 7 percent and the average price of those homes sold increased by 5 percent. The association, which tracks home sales in a 43-county area, said 2,159 homes sold in March, up from 2,107. The complete report is available here (PDF). Meanwhile, the average sale price increased to $154,478 from $146,920 in March 2012. Among the top counties for home sales in March, Benton County led the way with 412 home sales, up about 28 percent from the same month last year.
15-year mortgage rate hits record low
Mortgage rates dropped again this week, with the 15-year fixed-rate loan hitting a record low, according to a report from mortgage financier Freddie Mac. The 15-year fixed rate fell to 2.56% from 2.61%. A year ago, it stood at 3.07. The most popular mortgage, the 30-year fixed rate, came in at 3.35%, a drop of 0.05 percentage point and only 0.04 percentage point above its record low set the week of November 21, 2012. The rates provide a welcome boost to the housing market and to the overall economy, according to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.
Zuckerberg's advocacy ads under fire
Mark Zuckerberg is the public face of one of the world's most prominent companies. But now it's his actions as a private citizen that are making him - and Facebook Inc. - a target of environmentalists and progressive activists, highlighting the pitfalls of political involvement at a level rarely attempted in Silicon Valley. The 28-year-old billionaire co-founder and chief executive of Facebook has funded a political advocacy group called Fwd.us that has come under fire for spending millions on television ads that support expansion of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Southwest Airlines fined $150,000 for ignoring customer complaints
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has fined Southwest Airlines $150,000 for late and incomplete responses to consumer complaints, it announced Wednesday. The FAA found that due to an issue with its website, Southwest was unaware of a large number of disability- and consumer-related complaints filed between June 2011 and January 2012. When Southwest did respond to the complaints, according the FAA, its replies were late, and did not contain information required by Department of Transportation rules.