At the opening bell Wednesday, US stocks experienced a modest lift on news of a merger between Kraft Foods and Heinz Company. If the merger were to go through, the merged company would create the third largest food company. However, these gains could not be contained, as the government released economic data revealing soft economic expansion. The data revealed two areas of concern: the first is that there was unexpectedly weak consumer purchasing of durable goods, and business investment fell for the sixth straight month in February. This new data could cause economists to lower their first quarter US growth estimates and could have an effect on the timing of the Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.