By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks ended nearly flat on Monday as the latest deal news offset losses following discouraging data on the housing market and some signs of weakness in the services sector. Dollar Tree Inc offered to buy rival discount chain Family Dollar Stores Inc for about $8.5 billion. The transaction, including debt, values Family Dollar at about $9.2 billion. Family Dollar's stock shot up 24.9 percent to $75.74 and was the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainer.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth likely rebounded in the second-quarter from a winter-induced slump at the start of the year and will probably continue to gather momentum through the rest of 2014. Gross domestic product likely grew at a 3.0 percent annual rate, according to a Reuters survey of economists, lifted by an acceleration in both consumer spending and stock accumulation by businesses. I do think we can sustain a 3 percent growth number for the next couple of quarters," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York. Earlier in the second quarter, growth estimates were as high as 4 percent, but they were lowered as consumer spending and business investment rebounded less than expected.
Microsoft Corp appears to be the latest U.S. company targeted by China for antitrust investigation as government officials paid sudden visits to the software firm's Chinese offices on Monday. Representatives from China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce, which is responsible for enforcing business laws, made the visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, according to local media reports that were confirmed by Microsoft. A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company was "happy to answer the government's questions," but declined to give any further information. A source close to the company said the visits were most likely the preliminary stage of an antitrust investigation.
By Ben Klayman DETROIT (Reuters) - An influential consumer magazine on Monday called on Toyota Motor Corp to recall about 177,500 older Camry hybrid sedans to address potential power brake defects. Consumer Reports, which many consumers use when studying what vehicles to buy, said the Japanese automaker's decision to call for a service campaign or a warranty extension on two different problems covering cars from model years 2007 to 2011 does not go far enough. Under a service campaign, an automaker repairs cars as they are brought back to dealers by consumers. "Consumer Reports believes that Toyota should recall these cars," the magazine said.
(Reuters) - Panasonic Corp has reached a basic agreement with Tesla Motors Inc to initially supply the electric car maker's proposed lithium-ion battery plant with machinery to make battery cells, the Nikkei said. Panasonic will likely invest about 20 billion yen to 30 billion yen ($196.4 million-$294.7 million) initially, the paper said. A Tesla spokesman declined to comment on "speculation regarding Panasonic." Tesla is looking at three sites in the United States to build the plants, dubbed the "Gigafactory", which by 2020, would be able to make more lithium-ion batteries in a year than were produced worldwide in 2013. Panasonic said in May it wanted to be the sole battery cell maker at Tesla's multibillion-dollar battery factory.