Stocks Opened Higher on Economic Reports

U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday as investors welcomed better-than-expected reports on home prices
and durable-goods orders. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately gained 59.22 points, or 0.36%, to 16,665.49. The S&P 500 added 8.77 points, or 0.46%, to 1,909.30. The Nasdaq Composite was up 29.44
points, or 0.70%, to 4,215.24.

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a slower pace in the year ended in March as the housing market  began to weaken at the start of 2014. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 12.4 percent from March 2013, the smallest 12-month gain since July.

Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in April, but a drop in a measure of
business capital spending plans could temper expectations for a sharp rebound in economic growth this quarter. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday durable goods orders increased 0.8 percent as demand for defense capital goods surged and orders for fabricated metal products, transportation equipment and electrical equipment, appliances and components rose.

The poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride is offering to acquire meat producer Hillshire Brands in a deal worth about $5.58 billion to create a “protein-focused company.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said on Monday the bank must be “particularly watchful” for any negative price spiral in the euro zone. That added to suggestions from other ECB policymakers that the bank was ready to cut rates next week to counter low inflation and weak lending in the euro zone, keeping asset purchases as an option.

Pfizer abandoned its attempt to buy AstraZeneca for nearly 70 billion pounds ($118 billion) on Monday
as a deadline approached without a last-minute change of heart by the British drugmaker.

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