Prop 1 Statement Gov. Snyder is taking questions and offering a statement on the Prop. 1 vote tonight.
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. service firms' growth accelerated in April, fueled by more orders, rising sales and an uptick in hiring.
The Institute for Supply Management says that it services index rose to 57.8 in April from 56.5 in March, the highest in five months. Any reading over 50 indicates that services firms are expanding.
The healthy showing suggests that the economy's recent stumbles are only temporary. Hiring slowed in March and economic growth ground to a near-halt in the first quarter. But most economists expect growth will rebound.
The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its survey of services firms covers businesses that employ 90 percent of the American workforce, including retail, construction, health care and financial services companies.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit in March jumped to the highest level in more than six years as a small increase in exports was swamped by a flood of imports from autos to cellphones.
The Commerce Department says the deficit rose to $51.4 billion, the largest trade gap since October 2008 and more than 43 percent higher than the February imbalance.
Exports were up 0.9 percent to $187.8 billion, while imports increased 7.7 percent to $239.2 billion. The trade deficit is the short-fall between exports and imports.
Economists had expected the March deficit to expand, reflecting the resolution of labor disputes which had slowed shipments at West Coast ports. But the deficit was bigger than expected and will likely shrink an already anemic first quarter of economic growth.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The pump is primed at Disney to reap the benefits of a big year at the movies.
With its Marvel movie "Avengers: Age of Ultron" just having notched the second-biggest domestic opening weekend of all-time and a new "Star Wars" movie coming this winter, analysts expect the company to post not only good movie studio results but also a big uptick in consumer products revenue and profits.
The second-quarter results were off to a good start. Earnings in the March quarter came to $1.23 per share, beating the $1.11 expected by analysts. Revenue rose 7 percent to $12.46 billion, also topping estimates for $12.28 billion.
Disney shares have risen 18 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased almost 3 percent. The stock has risen 38 percent in the last 12 months.
Freddie Mac posts $524M profit in 1Q; paying $746M dividend
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage giant Freddie Mac is reporting net income of $524 million for the first quarter, down sharply from the same period of 2014, as it sustained losses on the investments it uses to hedge against swings in interest rates.
The January-through-March results mark the government-controlled company's 14th straight profitable quarter. Freddie said that although earnings show volatility, its business fundamentals are strong and continued to improve during the quarter.
Freddie, based in McLean, Virginia, also said it will pay a dividend of $746 million to the U.S. Treasury next month. Freddie will have paid $92.6 billion in dividends, exceeding its government bailout of $71 billion.
The government rescued Freddie and larger sibling Fannie Mae at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google's influential search engine has hit a tipping point in technology's shift to smartphones. More search requests are now being made on mobile devices than personal computers in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.
The milestone announced at a digital advertising conference today serves as another reminder of how dramatically people's behavior has changed since 2007. That's when Apple released the first iPhone, unleashing a wave of similar devices that has made it easier for people to stay connected to the Internet wherever they go.
Besides the U.S., Google's mobile search requests are outstripping requests in nine other countries. Japan is the only other country that Google Inc. is identifying.
Google processes more than 100 billion search requests worldwide each month, including queries made on PCs.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Macy's Inc. says it has named its new discount stores Macy's Backstage, and says first of the four test stores will open this fall in New York City.
The details come four months after the department store chain announced it was exploring an "off-price" retailing business, which would be similar to a T.J. Maxx store or a Nordstrom Rack. This would mark the first off-price business for the Macy's brand.
The test stores will offer products ranging from women's clothing to home furnishings. The merchandise will include clearance goods from Macy's stores as well as special buys from name brands at 20 percent to 80 percent off original and comparable prices for similar items.
The move comes as the chain looks for new avenues of growth in response to shifting consumer behavior.
JACKSON, N.J. (AP) -- Environmental groups have filed suit over a New Jersey theme park's plans to cut nearly 19,000 trees to build a 90-acre solar farm.
The groups claim Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson is violating the state's municipal land use law. They say the plan would be harmful to the Barnegat Bay watershed.
The groups say the amusement park's parking lot and buildings would be a more appropriate location for a solar farm.
In a statement, Janet Tauro of Clean Water Action said it's illogical to destroy the forest to combat climate change.
Six Flags has said the facility would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 24 times what the undisturbed forest is capable of removing on its own. It has also pledged to replant nearly 26,000 trees.
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