Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Americans step up credit card use sharply in May

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Americans put more on their credit cards in May than in any single month since November 2007, one month before the Great Recession began.

But overall credit card use is still well below where it was just before the downturn. Economists say May's increase was likely a temporary response to weaker hiring and poor wage growth and not a sign of sustained confidence in the economy.

Consumer borrowing rose by $17.1 billion in May from April, the Federal Reserve said Monday. The gain drove total borrowing to a seasonally adjusted $2.57 trillion, nearly matching the all-time high reached in July 2008.

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WellPoint buying Amerigroup for about $4.46 billion

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) â¿¿ WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer, will get a bigger chunk of the expanding market of people covered by Medicaid with its $4.46 billion acquisition of a provider of the program for needy and disabled Americans.

WellPoint said that it will spend $92 per share in cash for Amerigroup Corp., which runs Medicaid coverage in 13 states, including Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey.

Medicaid, which is state- and federally funded, represents a growth opportunity for WellPoint and other big U.S. insurers. States are starting to move residents who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, the federally funded program for people over age 65 and the disabled, into managed-care programs that coordinate care.

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Campbell Soup seeks to freshen up with Bolthouse

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Campbell Soup Co., the world's biggest soup maker, is looking to court a new generation of consumers with baby carrots, premium juices and refrigerated salad dressings.

The Camden, N.J.-based company said Monday that it will buy natural foods maker Bolthouse Farms in a $1.55 billion cash deal from private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC. Campbell says Bolthouse's line of juices and carrots will help it feed Americans' growing appetite for fresher foods.

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