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U.S. wholesale inventories increased more than expected in December, suggesting that the restocking of warehouses likely contributed strongly to economic growth last quarter.  The broad increase in inventories reported by the Commerce Department also offered more hope that supply bottlenecks were easing.

High inflation is enemy No. 1 for the first time since 1981, small businesses say.  Some 22% of small-business owners said inflation is their top problem, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. That’s the biggest share in 41 years.  The yearly pace of U.S. inflation likely crossed the 7% mark in December, based on the consumer price index. The last time that happened was in early 1982.  Yet even as they struggle with high prices, small businesses also said they were slightly more optimistic. The NFIB’s small-business optimism index rose 0.5 points to a three-month high of 98.9.

Shares of the mobile gaming company Zynga soared more than 40% after Take-Two Interactive, another gaming company, revealed plans to buy Zynga for $12.7 billion, or $9.86 a share, in a cash and stock deal. That’s a roughly 64% premium to Zynga’s closing price Friday. Shares of Take-Two tumbled by 13.1%.




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