Business inventories in the U.S. rose 0.5% in April after remaining unchanged in the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday. Sales fell 0.2% in April. As a result, the ratio of inventories to sales rose to 1.39 from 1.38 in March. That's how many months it would take to sell all the inventory on hand. Inventories have been exceeding growth in sales in recent months. One year ago, the inventory-to-sales ratio stood at 1.36.