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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

June 9, 2014, 2:31 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks are drifting between slight gains and losses in afternoon trading on Wall Street. The market has been on a steady climb for three weeks running, pulling the S&P 500 up 4 percent in a month. On Friday, the S&P 500 index notched its latest record high, its eighth in 10 trading days.
  • Meat producer Tyson Foods has won a bidding war for Hillshire Brands, the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs, with a $63 per share offer. Both Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride had been bidding for Hillshire Brands. The deal is contingent on Hillshire Brands terminating its agreement to buy Pinnacle Foods, which makes Birds Eye frozen vegetables and Wish-Bone salad dressings.
  • Lawsuits alleging that General Motors cars lost value because of ignition switch recalls will be heard in a New York City federal court. A panel on multi-district litigation says New York is the best place to hear the cases because GM's 2009 bankruptcy case was there. The panel says it knows of 74 lawsuits in 31 federal courts. They allege that the older small cars dropped in value after the ignition switch recalls were announced starting in February. GM has admitted knowing about the problem for at least a decade.
  • The Supreme Court says BP must continue paying claims from a fund established after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill while the company appeals terms of its settlement with some businesses. The justices on Monday let stand without comment lower court refusals to halt payments while BP appeals the rulings that businesses don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money.
  • The Supreme Court says bankruptcy courts have limited authority to rule on disputes outside the traditional bankruptcy process. The justices ruled unanimously today that a Washington state bankruptcy court did not exceed its powers when it considered a lawsuit claiming the Bellingham Insurance Agency had wrongfully transferred assets to the another insurance company shortly before declaring bankruptcy. The high court says a bankruptcy court can rule on non-bankruptcy matters as long as a federal district court reviews those findings.

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