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Tyson bids for Hillshire; Apple buys Beats; Dish to accept bitcoin payments

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Investors sifted through two key pieces of economic data this morning. The Commerce Department said revised Q1 GDP data showed the economy contracted 1.0%. It’s the biggest decline since the first quarter of 2011. Economists expected to see a drop of 0.5%. Meanwhile, jobless claims fell 27,000 last week to 300,000. Economists were expecting claims to drop to 317,000.

Hillshire Brands (HSH), maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs, is very popular. Tyson Foods (TSN) offered to buy Hillshire for $50 a share in a deal worth $6.8 billion. This offer comes just  two days after Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) made an unsolicited bid of  $45 a share for Hillshire in a $6.4 billion deal. Meanwhile, Hillshire is trying to make a purchase of its own. A few weeks ago it offered to buy Pinnacle Foods (PF) in a $6.6 billion deal.

Apple (AAPL) announced it would buy Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Apple said it would pay $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in equity for the maker of premium headphones and its music streaming service. It’s Apple’s largest acquisition ever. Beats co-founders, music industry executive Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre, will join Apple.

Dish Network (DISH) announced this morning that it will begin accepting bitcoin payments in the third quarter, which begins on July 1. The satellite-TV provider said it will be the largest company so far to accept the virtual currency. Customers will be able to use bitcoin for one-time payments through the company’s mydish.com website.

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