Small-business optimism ticked up in May for the second month in a row, according to an index by the National Federation of Independent Business. "It's nice to see confidence not shrinking, but there isn't much to hang your hat on in this report. ... Two good months don't make a trend, but we can't have a trend without them, so it's a start," Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said. Meanwhile, small-business hiring is sluggish because of a tepid economy, experts say.

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