Business briefing

The daily business briefing: December 13, 2021

Chris Wallace leaves Fox News for CNN, Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story' reboot makes disappointing box office debut, and more

1

Chris Wallace leaves Fox News to join CNN streaming service

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace announced on his show that he is resigning after 18 years at the conservative cable network. "After 18 years — this is my final Fox News Sunday," Wallace said on his final airing. "It is the last time — and I say this with real sadness — we will meet like this." Wallace said he was leaving to start a "new adventure." CNN said he would be joining CNN+, a streaming service launching early in 2022. Wallace will have a weekday show in which he will interview newsmakers in business, sports, and culture, as well as politics, which was his bread and butter at Fox. "I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape — and finding new ways to tell stories," Wallace said.

2

'West Side Story' ticket sales disappoint over debut weekend

Director Steven Spielberg's reboot of the 1961 classic musical West Side Story made a disappointing box office debut, bringing in just $10.5 million in its opening weekend in North America. Film industry analysts had projected about $15 million in domestic ticket sales in the film's first weekend. The lackluster opening came despite great reviews, an "A" CinemaScore from viewers, and early Oscar buzz. Other recent film adaptations of Broadway musicals, including Lin-Manuel Miranda's In The Heights, also have had trouble at the box office. The newly emerged Omicron coronavirus variant might have discouraged some moviegoers from venturing out to see West Side Story, although audiences still might appear as the holidays arrive and people have more free time to go to the movies.

3

Peloton hits back over portrayal in 'Sex and the City' reboot

Peloton on Sunday released a parody commercial in response to a scene in HBO Max's Sex and the City reboot that sent the at-home fitness equipment company's already struggling shares tumbling to a 52-week low last week. One of the main Sex and the City characters in And Just Like That..., Mr. Big, dies of a heart attack after a Peloton class. In the parody, Mr. Big, played by actor Chris Noth, sits in front of a fire with the show's Peloton instructor, Jess King, and says, "Shall we take another ride?" Then actor and director Ryan Reynolds then says in a voiceover: "And just like that, the world was reminded that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs, and circulation. ... He's alive."

4

Poll: Biden approval on economy, pandemic hit new lows

Public approval of President Biden's handling of the economy and the coronavirus pandemic have fallen to a new low, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday. Fifty-three percent of Americans still approve of Biden's pandemic response, but 45 percent now disapprove, the most since Biden took office. In March, 72 percent approved of Biden's COVID-19 response. The decline came as the Biden administration tightens mask requirements and travel restrictions, and pushes vaccine booster shots to fight the new Omicron variant. As inflation rose to the highest rate in decades, approval of Biden's approach to combating rising consumer prices came in at just 28 percent. In October, 53 percent approved of his handling of the economy, compared to 41 percent in the new poll.

5

Stock futures rise ahead of Fed meeting

U.S. stock futures rose slightly early Monday ahead of a week filled with central bank meetings around the world, including a Federal Reserve meeting expected to end Wednesday with a decision to accelerate the unwinding of the Fed's recovery-boosting bond-buying program. Futures for the S&P 500 were up by 0.2 percent early Monday following the index's record close on Friday, its 67th of the year. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also gained 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. The Dow was back near an all-time high after two weeks of volatility sparked by the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant. The gains came despite federal data released Friday showing that consumer prices rose in November at their fastest annual pace in nearly four decades.

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