NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Wednesday, August 14.
Questions about price hikes surround American-US Airways deal
In a surprise move, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways, claiming the deal would drive up costs for travelers. But some recent reports on consolidation in the industry offer a more mixed picture. "There are definitely some markets that are winners and some markets that are losers after a merger," said Jonathan Kletzel, US Tranportation & Logistics Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "We're not saying that there aren't places where mergers impact prices, but when you look in the aggregate, it's not a doomsday scenario where prices are going to shoot up."
Uninsured next year? Here's your Obamacare penalty
Thinking of ignoring the Obamacare mandate to get health insurance next year? It could cost you. To try to ensure that people sign up for coverage, the Affordable Care Act carries complex penalties for those who remain uninsured that could cost them hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Some 6 million people could be hit with these fines in 2016, forking $7 billion over to the federal government, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Affording a home harder for average buyer
Stagnant incomes, higher home prices and climbing mortgage rates made affording a home a lot more difficult for the average homebuyer during the second quarter. Of all homes sold between April and June, 69.3% were affordable to a family earning the median income of $64,400, according to an index compiled by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo. That's down significantly from the first quarter, when 73.7% of homes sold were affordable and from late 2011, when affordability peaked at 78%.
Why 26% of U.S. women still choose not to work
Sixty years ago, American women began heading off to the workplace in droves. But in the last couple of decades, that trend has completely stalled out. "It seems that we are stuck," said Cornell University economist Francine Blau, who co-authored a paper on this topic with her husband Lawrence Kahn, also a Cornell economist. What went wrong? They point to a lack of family-friendly labor laws in the United States as a key part of the problem.