Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are slightly negative this morning as the markets process news about factory orders and a big deal between Berkshire Hathaway and Burlington Northern Santa Fe worth billions.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) has agreed to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe (NYSE: BNI) for $34 billion. Burlington Northern is the country’s second-largest raiload, and it’s also the biggest transporter of food products and coal, making it a harbinger of economic health, says Samantha Bomkamp for the Associated Press. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Transportation Average (NYSEArca: IYT) is up nearly 5% this morning on the news. Year-to-date, it’s up 3.3%.

Factory orders rose 0.9%, thanks to heavier demand in automobiles, heavy machinery and military aircraft. It’s the fifth increase in six months. The jump has economists optimistic of a recovery, but if consumer spending doesn’t pick up, manufacturing will suffer again. PowerShares Global Emerging Markets Infrastructure (NYSEArca: PXR) is down about 1.2% this morning; Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) is 2.3%. (Yesterday’s report on industrial activity).

The European Union raised its 2010 growth forecast for the 27 nations to 0.7%, reports David Jolly for T he New York Times. By 2011, the EU anticipates growth of 1.5%. Despite the positive forecasts, the EU still feels that some factors will weigh on a recovery, including weak private demand and a struggling job market. (For more stories on Europe, visit our Europe category). iShares MSCI EMU (NYSEArca: EZU) is down nearly 2% this morning.

For full disclosure, Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EZU.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.