Business briefing

The daily business briefing: May 1, 2017

Congress' deal to avoid a shutdown lifts stocks, The Fate of the Furious tops $1 billion globally, and more

1

Deal to avoid shutdown gives stocks a modest lift

U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Monday on news that congressional negotiators had struck a deal to keep the federal government funded through September, ending the threat of a government shutdown at the end of the week. With economic data on inflation, manufacturing, and construction spending still looming, S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged up by 0.1 percent, while Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.2 percent. The $1 trillion government spending agreement followed weeks of negotiations nearly disrupted by President Trump's call for including money to start building his promised wall on the Mexican border. The deal includes $295 million to help Puerto Rico continue making Medicaid payments, as well as increases in energy and science funding Trump wants to cut — both policies Democrats had demanded. It also includes $12.5 billion in new military spending and $1.5 billion more for border security requested by Republicans, although that money can't be spent on Trump's wall.

2

Twitter and Bloomberg partner to offer streaming news

Twitter is teaming up with Bloomberg to stream video news around the clock, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Bloomberg, a global financial news service, reportedly will create a channel with live news produced for Twitter from Bloomberg's bureaus around the world, rather than simply rebroadcasting Bloomberg's current TV news. "It is going to be focused on the most important news for an intelligent audience around the globe and it’s going to be broader in focus than our existing network," said Bloomberg Media's chief executive officer, Justin Smith. The two companies are expected to announce the partnership at an event that Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are holding for advertisers.

3

Fox and Blackstone discuss offer to acquire Tribune Media

21st Century Fox and investment firm Blackstone Group are discussing making an offer for Tribune Media and its 42 television stations, people with knowledge of the negotiations said Sunday night. Tribune's market value at Friday's close was $3.2 billion. A bid by Fox and Blackstone would rival a planned offer from Sinclair Broadcast Group ahead of a bidding deadline this week. The talks between Fox and Blackstone still could fall apart, but the current talks call for Blackstone putting up the money for an all-cash bid, while 21st Century Fox reportedly would contribute its 28 owned-and-operated TV stations to the joint venture that would acquire Tribune. The rising interest in Tribune came after the Federal Communications Commission last week loosened rules on how many stations an operator can own.

4

Immigrant and labor groups plan May Day marches

Tens of thousands of immigrants, activists, and union members plan to mark May Day on Monday with marches in cities across the U.S., including New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Around the world, labor groups traditionally hold events promoting workers' rights on May 1, but in the U.S., immigrant advocates have staged rallies on May Day over the last decade to protest immigration enforcement crackdowns. This year, they plan to protest against President Trump's call for stepping up deportations. In some cities, activists are encouraging immigrants to skip work to show how important they are to their communities.

5

The Fate of the Furious tops $1 billion globally

The Fate of the Furious topped the domestic box office for the third straight week, bringing in another $19.4 million in North America over the weekend as its global total surpassed $1 billion, according to studio estimates released Sunday. The action movie, with a cast led by Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, also beat out its predecessor, Furious 7, to become the biggest-grossing imported film in China, where it has earned $361 million. The No. 2 film of the week domestically was Eugenio Derbez's comedy, How to Be a Latin Lover, starring Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, and Kristen Bell. No. 3 was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, a "Tollywood" (Telugu language) film from South India, with $10.1 million on just 420 screens (compared to 4,000-plus screens showing The Fate of the Furious).

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