Stocks mixed...Government records April budget surplus...Postal Service wants to raise stamp prices
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Energy companies are rallying with the price of oil, and technology companies are moving higher. But consumer-focused companies are down following weak first-quarter reports from Priceline and Disney. Health care companies are also slipping as a quiet week of trading continues.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government ran the second-highest monthly surplus on record this April, as tax revenues were pushed higher by a change in the deadline for corporate tax payments. The Treasury Department says the surplus for April totaled $182.4 billion, the second largest surplus after a record $189.8 billion surplus set in April 2001. The government generally runs surpluses in April, reflecting the annual tax deadlines.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is hoping it can soon raise stamp prices by a penny or more, after reporting a quarterly loss of $562 million. It blames the loss in part on a forced reduction in stamp prices last year, along with continued erosion in first-class mail and expensive mandates for its retiree health care obligations. The postal service notched double-digit growth in its package business, but that wasn’t enough to offset losses in both first-class and junk mail.
SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft says a half billion devices are now running Windows 10, its latest operating system. That’s up from 400 million disclosed last September, but far short of a goal of 1 billion by 2018. Microsoft has already acknowledged it won’t hit 1 billion in time. Getting halfway has taken nearly two years. Windows 10 represents a comeback for Microsoft after a disastrous Windows 8 launch and heavy competition from phone systems such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Dakota Access pipeline leaked 84 gallons of oil in South Dakota early last month. State officials say the April 4 spill was relatively small, quickly cleaned up, and didn’t threaten any waterways. But an American Indian tribe says the spill bolsters its argument that the pipeline jeopardizes its water supply and deserves further environmental review.