(Corrects to show AB InBev, not Constellation Brands, is taking
over Grupo Modelo)
* Constellation soars after revised AB InBev-Modelo deal
* Cisco, GM results hurt by Europe weakness
* Berkshire and 3G Capital to buy Heinz, shares soar
* Indexes off: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Feb 14 U.S. stocks dipped on Thursday
after traders cashed in some of their recent gains following
weaker-than-expected economic growth data from Europe and Japan,
though declines were limited by news on mergers and
A contraction of 0.6 percent in gross domestic product in
the euro zone was the steepest for the bloc since the first
quarter of 2009, while Japan's GDP shrank 0.1 percent in the
fourth quarter, crushing expectations of a modest return to
The persisting weakness in Europe and its implications for
global growth and U.S. corporate profits prompted some investors
to lock in recent profits.
The S&P 500 is still up more than 6 percent so far this year
and is hovering near its highest level since November 2007.
U.S. data showed the number of Americans filing new claims
for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the latest
week. That suggests the job market is improving, said Peter
Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in
"But it won't be much of a catalyst for the market this
morning because of ... the news out of Europe," he said.
Cardillo said a weaker euro, down 0.8 percent versus the
U.S. dollar, was also a downward pressure on markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.86 points or
0.1 percent, to 13,969.05, the S&P 500 lost 2.18 points
or 0.14 percent, to 1,518.15 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 8.12 points or 0.25 percent, to 3,188.76.
Shrinking European economies translated to a 5-percent drop
in revenue from the region for Cisco Systems, which
nonetheless beat estimates as it reported its results Wednesday.
The company's shares slid 2.6 percent to $20.60.
General Motors Co reported a weaker-than-expected
fourth-quarter profit, also citing bigger losses in Europe
alongside lower prices in its core North American market. Still,
shares rose 1.3 percent to $29.05.
Recent news on mergers and acquisitions led some investors
to bid up shares of related companies.
H.J. Heinz Co shares jumped 20 percent after it said
that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital
will buy the company for $72.50 a share, or $28 billion
American Airlines and US Airways Group said they
plan to merge in a deal that will form the world's biggest air
carrier, with an equity valuation of about $11 billion. US
Airways shares fell 2.4 percent to $14.31.
Constellation Brands soared more than 31 percent to
$41.80 after AB InBev's deal to take over Mexican brewer Grupo
Modelo was revised to grant Constellation
perpetual rights to distribute Corona and other Modelo brands in
the United States. AB InBev ADRs gained 5.9 percent to
(Additional reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Bernadette
Baum and Kenneth Barry)