Markets stand at record highs as we start trading this morning. The Dow Jones is just 100 points from 17,000 and the S&P 500 is just 50 points from the 2000 level. (CNBC)
The food fight is over and Tyson Foods is buying Hillshire Foods for nearly $1 billion more than rival Pilgrim’s Pride was willing to pay. The total price tag is $7.7 billion. That is a 70% premium to Hillshire’s share price when bidding began. (Market Watch)
Coffee prices are on the rise. Kraft Foods, the makers of Maxwell House and Yuban, are following the lead of JM Smucker, makers of Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts, and raising prices about 9%. That is the first price increase in three years. The prices of Arabica-coffee beans are up 55% this year. (Wall Street Journal)
The size of new homes in this country grew by 4% to a record of almost 2500 square feet. The largest average home is 2534 sq ft in the South and the smallest is 2394 sq ft in the West. Last year 9% of all new homes sold were in excess of 4000 sq ft, up from 5% just a decade ago. (Market Watch)
The American Banker’s Association says lending to businesses will grow by 9% this year. Banks say they are seeing increased interest by businesses for loans as they prepare to expand plants and add new equipment.