Stocks edge lower; Hillshire bidding war heats up

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm •  Published: June 3, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market fell slightly Thursday, pulling back from record highs the day before.

Hillshire Brands jumped as a bidding war for the company heated up, while Krispy Kreme Doughnuts plunged after issuing a disappointing forecast.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 21.29 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,722.34. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.73 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,924.24 and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,234.08.

Even with Tuesday's decline, the direction for the stock market the last two weeks has been up. The S&P 500 and Dow have fallen just three times in the last 12 sessions.

Deli meat and hotdog maker Hillshire Brands rose $5.08, or 9.5 percent, to $58.65 on Tuesday.

Two companies — Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson Foods — are in a bidding war to buy Hillshire. The company said it will hold separate talks with the companies after Pilgrim's Pride raised its bid for Hillshire to $55 a share, $5 more than what Tyson Foods offered last week.

Hillshire's closing stock price of more than $58 is a sign that investors believe Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson are willing to offer much more for Hillshire.

Meanwhile, the stock of the suitors fell. Tyson slipped $1.32, or 3 percent, to $42.08 and Pilgrim's Pride declined 58 cents, or 2.2 percent, 25.34.

It's been a quiet week so far, with summer setting in and trading slowing down. Investors had one piece of economic data to interpret Tuesday.

Orders to U.S. factories rose for a third consecutive month in April, the latest evidence that manufacturing was regaining momentum after a harsh winter. Factory orders rose 0.7 percent in April, better than the 0.5 percent rise that economists expected.

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