Today in the Fortune 500: Apple’s stock to be balanced in the Nasdaq-100, Google buys Nortel’s patent portfolio and P&G’s Pringle’s merges with Diamond Foods

April 5, 2011, 9:22 PM UTC
Tyson Foods
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The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.

By Shelley DuBois, reporter

THE NASDAQ’S BALANCING ACT Nasdaq OMX announced Tuesday that the Nasdaq-100 index will have to be rebalanced to keep Apple’s stock in check. Right now, Apple (AAPL) stock makes up over 20% of the index, which is too much, according to Nasdaq rules. [CNNMoney]

GOOGLE NEEDS PATENTS to fend off litigation as the company expands its Android operating system. To get them, Google (GOOG) has made a $900 million bid for the collection of patents owned by Nortel Networks, a bankrupt Canadian telecom company. [BBC]

BIG SNACK FOOD MERGER in the works between Diamond Foods and P&G’s (PG) Pringle’s unit. The deal, valued at about $2.35 billion, will give the new company a portfolio full of big snack food brands such as Kettle chips, Pop Secret popcorn and Emerald nuts. [New York Times]

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? BP’s (BP) infamous ex-CEO Tony Hayward is starting an investment firm, which has yet to get off the ground. Julian Metherell, now the the head of U.K. investment banking at Goldman Sachs (GS), plans to join Hayward’s company this summer. [Wall Street Journal]

QUESTIONS FOR WARREN BUFFETT abound regarding the mysterious resignation of David Sokol. Buffett, who has said that he will refer anyone curious about the Sokol matter back to his initial release from last week, may face increasing pressure to comment during Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRKA) upcoming annual meeting in Omaha.  [New York Times]

MEAT TEST The United States Department of Agriculture is releasing a proposal today that aims to force companies to delay shipments of meat until after government inspectors conduct safety tests. The statement from the USDA suggests that 44 of the most serious recalls between 2007 and 2009 probably wouldn’t have happened had this safety procedure been in place. Fortune 500 company Tyson (TSN) and private agriculture giant Cargill already test meat for pathogens before shipping.

A Tyson spokesman said, “while we don’t typically favor more government regulation, we believe it makes sense in this case to mandate ‘test and hold’ for the whole industry.” [Wall Street Journal]