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Pulte HomesPulte Homes To Acquire Centex.

his is a transcript of the Market Update: Midday video report.

Earnings season is off to a shaky start, as expected, but Wall Street was resilient Wednesday morning. The major U.S. averages started the day in positive territory, and a tie-up by a pair of home builders made headlines.

Pulte Homes ( PHM - news - people ) will acquire Centex ( CTX - news - people ) in an all-stock deal. According to Pulte Chief Executive Richard Dugas, the deal should accelerate a return to profitability for the combined company and will result in a workforce reduction.

Pulte shares lost 4% Wednesday morning. Centex shares were down over 5%, The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly measure of loan applications climbed 4.7% in the latest reading, and its purchase index jumped 11.1%, compared to just a 3.2% increase in refinancing.

Transportation company Ryder System ( R - news - people ) threw a curve at the market, issuing first-quarter guidance well below the Street's estimates and warning that the weak economic environment is likely to continue for the remainder of 2009. A day earlier, trucking company YRC Worldwide ( YRCW - news - people ) issued a bleak forecast of its own, cautioning that conditions remain difficult and it sees no signs of improvement.

YRC shares were down around 3%. Ryder shares slid over 11%.

Investors were also honing in on the Federal Reserve, which is due to release the minutes from its March monetary policy meeting Wednesday afternoon, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected to revive the uptick rule to restrict short sellers from piling on vulnerable stocks.

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