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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Corporate merger news and a good survey of homebuilders managed to win out with investors yesterday even as they continued to watch the growing insurgency by Sunni militants in Iraq and its implications for global oil prices.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to highest level since January. The latest report suggests homebuilders' confidence in the housing market is improving.

Tyson gets closer to obtaining Hillshire

Hillshire Brands is getting closer to being acquired by Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale.

The Chicago company's board of directors has unanimously voted to back away from an offer it made early last month to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc.

Tyson holds the winning bid to buy Hillshire, one of the terms of the deal would be that Hillshire must end its proposal to buy Pinnacle.

Tyson has said it will pay a $163 million break-up fee between Hillshire and Pinnacle if necessary.

Tyson has made an offer worth $8.5 billion to buy Hillshire, which makes Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages.

Donald W. Reynolds Foundation plans to close in 2017

Arkansas Business this week reporting on the final phase of operations for the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which plans to close in 2017.

The foundation was created in the early 1990s; over the last two decades it's given more than $1.8 billion to nonprofits in Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma including health care, educational and arts organizations.

In Arkansas, it has given the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences more than $87 million over the years.

The foundation's name is also on buildings throughout the state, including the Razorbacks' football stadium in Fayetteville.

The foundation now has about $160 million left under management.

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