Thursday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The major stocks were rising Thursday afternoon after poor reports on U.S. growth and the housing market bolstered the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will continue aggressive stimulus measures. As of 12 p.m.:

DIJA: +0.52% to 15381.93 S&P 500: +0.66% to 1659.19 NASDAQ: +0.82% to 3495.99
Gold: +4.3% to 79.08 Oil: +0.50% to 21.73 U.S. 10-Year: +0.33% to 21.31

Here are 3 stories helping shape the market Thursday afternoon:

1. NV Energy Joins Warren Buffet’s Growing Energy Empire: NV Energy (NYSE:NVE) announced this week that MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company – a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA)(NYSE:BRKB) — will acquire it for $23.75 per share in cash, a premium of about 23 percent over the stock’s previous closing price. The enterprise value of the deal is about $10 billion, and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2014.

NV Energy is an energy holding company serving approximately 1.3 million electric and natural gas customers in Nevada. Combined with MidAmerican Energy Holdings, Berkshire will own the largest U.S. utility company in the United States with 8.4 million total customer accounts and total assets of approximately $$66 billion… (Read more.)

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2. Can the IRS Scandal Shake the Dust Out of a Toxic Tax Code? To put it lightly, the U.S. tax code has become toxic. The standing document has been edited 5,000 times over the past dozen or so years and is nearly 4 million words long, or “10 times the size of the Bible with none of the good news,” as Representative David Camp (R-MI) would put it.

In 2011, the Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics published a paper arguing that because of the gross complexity of the tax code, the costs incurred by taxpayers are actually far greater than the net sum that the government collects… (Read more.)

3. The Housing Recovery Hits Another Speed Bump: The real estate market has rebounded from the worse levels of the credit crisis in recent years, but the latest report on pending home sales missed expectations.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, edged 0.3 percent higher to 106.0 in April, compared to 105.7 in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. Although the index is now at its highest level since April 2010, analysts were expecting a gain of 1.1 percent… (Read more.)

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