The daily business briefing: May 8, 2017

Stocks edge lower as French election boost evaporates, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 leads the box office, and more

Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere
(Image credit: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

1. Stocks edge lower as French election boost quickly fades

U.S. stocks appeared headed to a modestly lower open on Monday, with futures falling after briefly touching record levels following centrist Emmanuel Macron's win in the French presidential election over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who had vowed to lead her country out of the European Union. European stocks and the euro fell after a brief surge as investors shifted their focus from the election to how incoming economic and inflation data would affect monetary policy. Analysts explained that the Macron victory's impact on markets was limited because it was widely expected. "This is purely because the win that we had in France was so well priced in," said Jane Foley, currency strategist with Rabobank in London.

Bloomberg Reuters

2. Sinclair reportedly near deal to acquire Tribune Media

Sinclair Broadcast Group reportedly is close to signing a $4 billion deal to acquire Tribune Media. An announcement that Sinclair has won an auction for Tribune, one of the nation's biggest TV station operators, could come as soon as Monday. Interest in Tribune increased dramatically in recent weeks after the Federal Communications Commission reversed a 2016 decision limiting the number of stations any television broadcasting company can own. Twenty-First Century Fox held talks with Blackstone Group last week about submitting an offer, but never did so, a source close to the matter said. Sinclair's bid reportedly valued Tribune Media at about $44 per share, representing nearly a 30 percent premium on Tribune's price when Sinclair first approached Tribune at the end of February.

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3. U.N. meeting on Paris climate accord opens in Germany

The United Nations opens climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Monday as uncertainty looms over whether President Trump will pull the U.S. out of the global deal on cutting carbon emissions that scientists say are driving global warming. Diplomats are expected to use the talks to reach an agreement on how their countries should implement the 2015 Paris accord. President Trump has threatened to "cancel" the deal, or at least back away from promises the U.S. made under former President Barack Obama. U.S. officials are holding a Tuesday meeting in Washington to discuss the matter. In another move closely watched by environmentalists, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that administrator Scott Pruitt is replacing half of the members on a key scientific review board, possibly with industry scientific experts, to change the way the agency evaluates the science behind its regulations.

The Associated Press The Washington Post

4. Saudi Arabia and Russia say oil output reductions could be extended to 2018

Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's largest crude oil producers, signaled in separate statements Monday that they could extend oil production cuts into 2018. The news, the first public acknowledgement of the planned extension, came as the impact on prices of the deal to limit output has shown signs of fading. "We are discussing a number of scenarios and believe extension for a longer period will help speed up market rebalancing," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. The proposal could be approved at a May 25 OPEC meeting.


5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 leads the box office with $145 million debut

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 kicked off the summer movie season by hauling in an estimated $145 million in its North America debut weekend. The sequel, which cost about $350 million to make and market, led the box office with an opening that was 54 percent stronger than the original 2014 hit, which made $94 million in its first weekend on the way to a $773 million worldwide total. Director James Gunn's hit features an intergalactic band of misfits, and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper. The films have turned what was once a little-known crew in Marvel's stable of super heroes into a huge franchise.

The Associated Press The New York Times

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.