US STOCKS-Wall St finishes flat; deal news offsets housing data

lunes 28 de julio de 2014 16:47 GYT

* Dollar Tree offers to buy Family Dollar; deal valued at $9.2 bln

* June pending home sales unexpectedly fall

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.03 pct;, Nasdaq off 0.1 pct (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. 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. Dollar Tree's shares gained 1.2 percent to $54.87.

In other deal news, Zillow Inc agreed to buy Trulia Inc for $3.5 billion in stock in a deal that would combine the two most popular U.S. real estate website operators Trulia's shares jumped 15.4 percent to $65.04. Zillow's stock rose 0.9 percent to $160.32.

Investors' optimism, however, was limited by the day's economic data, among the latest to suggest that the economy's momentum was slowing.

An index of pending home sales unexpectedly fell 1.1 percent in June, the National Association of Realtors said. The report followed an 8.1 percent drop of new home sales in June, the biggest slump in almost a year. The PHLX housing sector index tumbled 1.4 percent. Shares of D.R. Horton Inc, the No. 1 U.S. homebuilder, slipped 0.6 percent to $21.48.   Continuación...