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Economic confidence on upswing

More Americans are quitting their jobs, suggesting many are growing more confident in the job market.

The Labor Department said Tuesday the number of people who quit their jobs in April jumped 7.2 percent to 2.25 million. That’s just below February’s level, which was the highest in 4 1/2 years.

Overall hiring also picked up in April, though not as dramatically. Employers filled 4.4 million jobs in April, a 5 percent increase from March. Hiring fell in March and April’s level was below February’s.

The report offered a reminder that the job market is far from healthy. The number of available jobs fell 3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.75 million. Openings had reached a five-year high in February and remain nearly 7 percent higher than a year ago.

Still, the growth in hiring and departures provides more evidence of a dynamic job market that is making slow but steady strides.

Sony debuts next-gen PlayStation successor

Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4, its first new console in seven years, taking the battle to Microsoft with a lower-priced machine, original content and fresh titles as it targets a return to video-game dominance.

The PS4 will cost $399 in the United States, 20 percent less than Microsoft’s Xbox One, Sony executives said Monday at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The machine, with sharp edges and blue highlights, allows unlimited used-game sales and doesn’t require an Internet connection, a contrast to two unpopular Microsoft features.

The console is crucial to Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai’s plan to turn around Tokyo-based Sony’s electronics business. A successful PS4 would bolster Hirai’s financial resources as he focuses on making television manufacturing profitable after nine years of losses.

Sony won the first round, according to Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Securities in Tokyo.

“We now think Sony and its PS4 have the edge over Microsoft’s Xbox One,” Thong wrote in a report Tuesday. “The PS4 offers gamers a more powerful machine at $100 cheaper than the Xbox One.”

Chicago board fined $6 million by SEC

Federal regulators fined the Chicago Board Options Exchange $6 million, saying its staff interfered with its three-year investigation of short selling at a member firm in an unprecedented breakdown of trading supervision.

The settlement, which calls for immediate remedial actions, is the first ever assessed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for violations related to regulatory oversight, according to a statement.

Four days ago, an administrative law judge ruled that CBOE member Options Xpress Inc., a unit of Charles Schwab Corp., helped facilitate sham transactions that violated U.S. securities laws known as Regulation SHO.

Mullinix earns check for energy efficiency

Indiana Michigan Power today plans to present a $142,943 incentive check to Mullinix Packages Inc., 3511 Engle Road, according to a written statement.

The company earned the check by participating in the Energy Efficiency Program for Indiana business customers.

Mullinix completed a compressed air optimization project, saving nearly 1.4 million kilowatt hours a year.