GDP, Jobless Claims, and Petraeus’s New Job: Morning Buzzers

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to the second estimate of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is down slightly from the advanced estimate of 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 25 increased 10,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 354,000.

Futures at 8:25 a.m.: DJIA: +0.22%, S&P 500: +0.29%, NASDAQ: +0.15%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Thursday morning:Money

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Dish Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) has renewed efforts in its fight with Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) over the wireless provider Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR). Dish wrote a letter to Clearwire offering to buy the company for $4.40 per share in cash, a dollar more per share than Sprint has offered. The letter was written in light of Clearwire’s upcoming shareholder meeting on May 31 and says that Dish’s offer “can provide a meaningfully superior alternative to your stockholders” as opposed to the Sprint deal.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA)(NYSE:BRKB), announced that they have reached an agreement to purchase NV Energy (NYSE:NVE), an energy company that provides electricity and natural gas to 1.3 million customers in Nevada. MidAmerican will purchase all outstanding shares of NV Energy’s common stock for $23.75 a share in a deal that was approved by both companies’ boards of directors and has an enterprise value of $10 billion. NV Energy will continue to operate under its current name and remain headquartered in Las Vegas.

Man Measuring MoneyCostco (NASDAQ:COST) climbed fractionally in pre-market trading after reporting fiscal third quarter financial results. Net sales increased 8 percent on the year to $23.55 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $24.21 billion. Net income for the quarter increased 18.2 percent on the year to $1.04 per diluted share, beating the average estimate of $1.03 per share. Comparable sales increased 6 percent.

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KKR & Co. (NYSE:KKR) announced that they are hiring former CIA director David Petraeus as chairman of the new KKR Global Institute. The Global Institute will focus on the investment implications of environmental, social, and governmental issues within a global firm that looks to take on risk for new opportunities. Petraeus will work with the Global Institute team and also support investment teams in the diligence process, especially when the Firm is looking to invest in new geographies.

EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC) has increased the size of its share repurchase authorization from $1 billion in 2013 to $6 billion over a three-year period, and initiated a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share. EMC also announced that it will add debt to its capital structure in the near term. The company stated that the net effect of the repurchase program and dividend payment is not expected to have an impact on expected 2013 revenue of $23.5 billion and adjusted earnings of $1.85 per share.

Are Markets Ready to Catch a Cold? More fear filled the air on Wednesday as U.S. stocks dropped across the board, along with oil, while VIX, the “fear index,” spiked higher. Volatility across various asset classes and the recent sharp spike in interest rates has spooked markets, at least temporarily, even generating whispers that, perhaps, the U.S. Federal Reserve is losing control of the bond market as happened recently in Japan… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: Are Markets Ready to Catch a Cold?