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Stocks meander...Treasury reports April surplus...Postal Service still losing money

Friday - 5/10/2013, 3:51pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks have largely been meandering between small gains and losses on Wall Street, while remaining on track to finish the week higher. The price of commodities including crude oil and gold fell sharply as the dollar continued to strengthen against other currencies, especially the Japanese yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Treasury says it took in a surplus of $113 billion in April, the largest in five years. That lowered the federal deficit through the first seven months of the budget year and kept it on pace to be the smallest since 2008. Steady economic growth and higher tax rates have boosted the government's tax revenue, while spending has declined. Through the first seven months of the budget year, the deficit was $488 billion, lower than last year's deficit of $720 billion over the same period.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Postal Service lost $1.9 billion over the last three months, and says the losses will continue to mount without help from Congress. Over the past six months, the Postal Service has shed about 31,000 career employees, consolidated 61 processing facilities, eliminated 350 delivery routes and reduced work hours in 5,000 offices. But it continues to lose money at a rapid pace due to a decline in mail volume and a congressional requirement that it make advance payments to cover expected health care costs for future retirees.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The IRS is apologizing for flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, says the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati. Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status. She says about 75 groups were inappropriately targeted, but none had their tax-exempt status revoked.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The federal government has approved Utah to become the first state to have a dual-model health insurance exchange in which the state and the federal government divide responsibilities. The plan allows Utah to continue to run its existing health insurance marketplace for small businesses. The federal government will run the state's individual exchange. The two marketplaces will operate independently of each other.


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