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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Home prices continue rising, Men's Wearhouse explains why it fired George Zimmer, and more
U.S. home prices saw the biggest monthly gain in seven years between March and April.
U.S. home prices saw the biggest monthly gain in seven years between March and April. Think Stock

1. SPRINT SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE SOFTBANK
After weeks of Softbank and Dish battling for Sprint's affection, Sprint's shareholders voted Tuesday to approve SoftBank's $21.6 billion bid to acquire 78 percent of the company. Assuming the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approves, the deal should be set to close by early July, launching Japan's Softbank into the big leagues of American wireless companies. It will then start updating Sprint's existing network — no small task. "Right now, every time I come to the States, I say 'Wow! this is so slow, what is this? It's unbearable,'" SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said in October, when the negotiations started. [Wall Street Journal]
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2. HOME PRICES AND SALES SKYROCKET
The latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows that between March and April home prices shot up 2.6 percent in the top 10 U.S. housing markets and 2.5 percent in the top 20 markets, the biggest monthly gain in seven years. Prices are up 11.6 percent and 12.1 percent respectively from a year earlier. If the sharp rise raises anxieties about another housing bubble, note that prices are still down between 26 and 27 percent from their peaks in the summer of 2006. And sales are gliding right along: New single-family homes are at their highest level in five years. [NBC News]
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3. MEN'S WEARHOUSE EXPLAINS WHY IT FIRED GEORGE ZIMMER
"Our actions were not taken to hurt George Zimmer," Men's Wearhouse's board said in a statement Tuesday, referring to their decision last week to fire the company's founder. "Mr. Zimmer reversed his long-standing position against taking the company private by arguing for a sale of the Men's Wearhouse to an investment group," and the move would force the company "to take on a huge amount of debt," said the statement. "The board believes such a transaction would not be in the best interests of our shareholders." [CNN]
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4. CHINA'S CENTRAL BANK TRIES TO SOOTHE CREDIT ANXIETY
After a shortage of money in the credit market caused a rise in interest rates and a fall in stocks for China's markets, China's central bank said Tuesday it will provide "liquidity support if an institution faces a temporary gap in funding arrangements." As investors worried the world's second largest economy might be on the brink of its own credit crisis, the central bank started doling out support this week, though it did not divulge details. "The central bank will take appropriate measures to maintain the overall stability of the money market," said the statement. [Washington Post]
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5. 3 OUT OF 4 AMERICANS LIVE PAYCHECK-TO-PAYCHECK
More than 75 percent of Americans don't have enough money saved to pay their bills for six months, and half say they have less than three months of expenses saved, says a survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults by Bankrate. One quarter has no reserves to draw on. Though the recession shocked Americans into changing their saving habits, "persistent unemployment and stagnant wages have made it difficult for Americans to put any money away," says Jillian Berman at The Huffington Post. As a result, Americans are saving more now than before the recession, but haven't changed their saving habits over the last three years. [Huffington Post]

Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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