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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

July 2, 2014, 1:14 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are relatively flat this morning following a report that business hiring surged in June. The report comes a day after news of stronger manufacturing activity helped push the stock market to another all-time high. The Dow is within 50 points of 17,000.

  • Orders to U.S. factories fell in May, after three months of gains. The Commerce Department reports orders fell 0.5 percent, pulled down by falling demand for military and transportation equipment. When military hardware is excluded, orders were up 0.2 percent. Still, U.S. factories have been busy. The Institute for Supply Management reported yesterday that manufacturing expanded in June for the 13th straight month.
  • ADP's latest survey shows a surge in hiring by U.S. businesses last month. The payroll processer says private employers added 281,000 jobs in June, a big jump from 179,000 in May. ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government's more comprehensive jobs report, but the figure suggests the government's report could also show a significant gain.
  • Tyson Foods has signed a definitive deal to purchase Hillshire Brands for $7.75 billion. The deal follows a bidding war between Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride, with Hillshire accepting Tyson's $63 per share offer last month. The deal was contingent on Hillshire walking away from its deal to buy Pinnacle Foods. That happened Monday. Tyson says it's paying a $163 million termination fee to Pinnacle on behalf of Hillshire.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired a small Czech brewery, Samson, in an effort to strengthen its claim to the trademark name of Budweiser. AB InBev is in a legal battle globally over the name with Budvar, another Czech brewer. Budvar and Samson are both based in a town (Ceske Budejovice) known as Budweis, from which the traditional Budweiser beer is made.

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