Market Minute: Warren Buffett Snaps Up NV Energy; Costco Earnings Rise

Warren Buffett is on the prowl again, and Costco bulks up its bottom line.

The Dow industrials (^DJI) fell 106 points Wednesday, the same amount they had gained Tuesday. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) lost 11 points and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) dropped 21 points.

berkshire hathaway ceo warren buffett nv energy
Nati Harnik/APBerkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) is making another multi-billion dollar acquisition. It's buying Nevada-based utility NV Energy (NVE). The deal values the company at $5.6 billion.

Retail-giant Costco Wholesale (COST) reports a 19 percent jump in quarterly earnings, slightly better than Wall Street expectations. The company continues to benefit from the shaky economy, as consumers make bulk purchases to save money.

Moody's has lowered its credit rating on Alcoa (AA) to junk status. Moody's says weakness in the aluminum industry will make it very tough for the company to cut its debt levels. Alcoa -- one of the 30 Dow stocks -- trades at just $8.50 a share. It's one of the few blue chips to have lost ground during the past year. The ratings downgrade could raise the company's cost of borrowing.

Royal Caribbean (RCL) says the fire aboard the Grandeur of the Seas earlier this week will reduce earnings in the current quarter by 10 cents a share. The ship is expected to be out of service for about six weeks. The company's website calls the ship "newly renovated." Now those renovations are undergoing renovations.

A new twist on the fast food burger. USA Today reports that Wendy's (WEN) is planning to roll out a pretzel burger -- a sandwich using a soft pretzel instead of a roll.

Shareholders at Exxon-Mobil's (XOM) annual meeting overwhelmingly voted down a proposal to ban discrimination against gay workers. It's the 14th straight year the proposal was rejected.

And you'll soon have a chance to own a piece of the Empire State Building. More than 80 percent of shareholders in the private company that owns the famed building here in New York have voted in favor of an initial public stock offering.

Check back after the market closes Thursday for the new Daily Finance closing bell report.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg