Stocks took a big hit on Tuesday, weighed down by concerns about Greece's financal crisis and upbeat economic data that raised concerns about a rise in interest rates. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Solid economic data buoyed the dollar, but dragged down U.S. stocks. The Dow, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ closed with steep losses. Durable goods data came in better than expected as business investment spending advanced and consumer confidence improved in May. New home sales rose by 6.8 percent in April, according to the Commerce Department. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed home prices rose one percent in March, with Detroit posting the biggest gain in the 20-city index. After hours, Spam owner Hormel announcing plans to buy Applegate, which owns the top brand of organic prepared meats for $775 million dollars. Charter Communications' shares advanced after it agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for nearly $56 billion. Time Warner Cable shares jumped, but were still below Charter's cash and stock offer of about $195 per share. S&P Capital IQ's Tuna Amobi: SOUNDBITE: TUNA AMOBI, EQUITY ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ, (ENGLISH) SAYING "Valuation is as high as we've seen recently of the major cable transactions. So, if you are a Charter shareholder, you are a little concerned that maybe they are overpaying, but, ultimately, they are getting some of the leading assets out there. So, this is why we think this is a very transformative deal for the industry at large." Shares of First Solar declined after RBC downgraded the solar panel marker's stock to "underperform" from "sector perform." Chat software firm, LivePerson, saw its shares soar after an Israeli website reported software provider Nice Systems was in talks to acquire the company. Nice shares decined. European markets ended the day lower as election results in Spain and continued debt problems in Greece weighed on stocks.