Durable Goods orders fell a half percent in April matching estimates. Durable Goods have fallen 7 of the last 9 months. The Case-Shiller home price index showed nationally home prices gained 4.1% from March 2014. Charter Communications (CHTR) is merging with Time Warner Cable (TWC) in a deal worth more than $55 billion in cash and stock. The acquisition by Charter would vault the cable operator into the ranks of the biggest U.S. broadband and pay television companies. The combined cable giant would have 23 million total customers, second only to Comcast's (CMCSK) 27 million customers. The offer is valued at about $195 a share, a 14% premium to Time Warner Cable’s last closing price. The deal comes only a month after Time Warner Cable went back on the block after Comcast Corp. terminated the companies’ planned $45.2 billion merger in the face of serious push back from Washington regulators. A Charter-TWC deal could be in for a stringent review in Washington as well. Including debt, the deal is valued at $78.7 billion. The maker of Similac Advance baby formula says it will begin selling the first mainstream formula without genetically modified ingredients. Abbot Labs (ABT) says it will be available by the end of the month at Target (TGT). Most mainstream baby formula is made with various corn and soybean products, which are often grown with genetically modified seeds. Also joining the healthier, fresher food movement is Taco Bell. Yum Brands (YUM) Taco Bell chain committed itself to removing all artificial flavors and colors from its foods by the end of the year. Taco Bell also said it would remove additives like added trans fats and hopes to remove additional artificial preservatives and additives by the end of 2017. The moves impact more than 95% of its core food items, according to the company.
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