Stocks little changed…Wholesale stockpiles, sales increase…Postal service loses $1.9 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks aren’t moving much in early trading on Wall Street, with corporate earnings winding down. Ralph Lauren sank 5 percent after its revenue forecast disappointed investors. CBS fell 3 percent after its first-quarter revenue fell short of analysts’ projections. Advertising sales at television’s top-rated network slumped 12 percent. Symantec rose 4 percent after the security software maker said cost cuts helped boost its fourth-quarter profit margins and net income.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report could encourage businesses to keep restocking their shelves. The Commerce Department wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in March by the largest amount in five months while sales increased at the fastest clip in 10 months. The 1.1 percent increase in stockpiles was the ninth consecutive monthly gain and the largest increase since a 1.2 percent rise in October. Sales at the wholesale level were up 1.4 percent, the best showing since a 1.9 percent rise in May of last year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Postal Service is pleading again for help from Congress after losing $1.9 billion over the first three months of this year. It says the loss for the quarter that ended March 31 matched the $1.9 billion in red ink in the same period last year. And it came despite a 2.3 percent rise in its operating revenue and continued cost-cutting efforts. The agency wants Congress to give it greater control over its personnel and benefit costs and more flexibility in pricing and products.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to make permanent a tax credit that rewards businesses for investing in research and development. The tax credit expired at the beginning of the year, along with more than 50 other tax breaks that are routinely extended. House Republicans say the vote is the beginning of a broader effort to add more certainty to the tax code. In the coming weeks, they hope to vote on bills that would make more temporary tax breaks permanent.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is raising its Internet video prices by $1 per month for new customers and giving its current U.S. subscribers a two-year break from the higher rates. The changes mean anyone signing up for Netflix’s video subscription service starting today will pay $9 per month for in the U.S. Nettflix says it needs more money so it can afford to pay for more original programming along the lines of its Emmy award-winning political drama “House of Cards.”

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