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U.S. business stockpiles grow at faster rate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles at a faster rate in April, responding to a strong gain in sales. The increase could be a good sign for economic growth in the April-June quarter.

The Commerce Department says stockpiles grew 0.6 percent at the wholesale level in April, double the March gain. Sales by wholesale businesses jumped 1.1 percent in April, nearly three times the March sales gain.

Stockpiles at the wholesale level stood at $483.5 billion in April. That's 25.6 percent above the post-recession low of $384.9 billion in September 2009.

It would take roughly five weeks to exhaust all wholesale stockpiles at the April sales pace. That's considered a healthy time frame and suggests businesses will keep restocking to meet demand.

When businesses step up restocking, they order more goods. That generally leads to increased factory production and higher economic growth.


Gupta plans to testify

NEW YORK (AP) -- A former Goldman Sachs board member is planning to testify on his own behalf at his New York insider trading trial.

The judge and lawyers made the disclosure Friday outside the jury's presence. They said it was highly likely that Rajat Gupta would testify next week and prosecutors would be working this weekend preparing their cross examination.

The revelation came after Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein completed three days of testimony. He was the government's final witness.

Defense witnesses are expected to last a day or so, making it likely that Gupta will testify early next week. Gupta is accused of feeding secrets about Goldman and another board he formerly sat on -- Procter & Gamble -- to a billionaire friend at a hedge fund.


Kraft moving to Nasdaq

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kraft Foods Inc. is spurning the New York Stock Exchange and moving its stock listing to the Nasdaq, a move the company says will cut costs as it prepares to split into two publicly traded companies.

The packaged foods maker also said Friday that Nasdaq's billboard in the heart of Times Square will give its brands such as Oreo, Nabisco and Cadbury greater visibility.

Kraft spokesman Michael Mitchell said the company was impressed with the advertising and brand-building Nasdaq does on behalf of its member companies. He also noted that the listing fees were "considerably less" for Nasdaq.

The transfer to the Nasdaq will take place June 26.


Trek in space

A satellite launched last month in Japan is carrying a product made by Trek Inc., a Medina-based company.

Trek made an electrostatic voltmeter that will measure surface voltage on the satellite. The purpose is to validate that electron-emitting film used on the satellite is effective in reducing electrostatic discharge, which is a major contributor to satellite damage.

The data collection will begin this month and is expected to last for about a year. Pricing for a production-run version of the voltmeter is estimated at $2,000.

Trek, which designs and makes high-performance electrostatic measurement instruments, sensors and monitors, employs about 150 people in Medina.


Vote on contract set

About 800 union members at four McGuire Group Nursing Homes will vote next week on a tentative labor contract, according to 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East.

The workers voting on the deal are employed at Autumn View Health Care Facility, Garden Gate Health Care Facility, North Gate Health Care Facility, and Seneca Health Care Center. The four votes will take place Tuesday and Wednesday.