Business briefing

The daily business briefing: November 27, 2017

Meredith agrees to buy Time Inc. for $3 billion, Cyber Monday gives U.S. stocks a boost, and more

1

Meredith to buy Time Inc. for $3 billion, with Koch backing

The Meredith Corp. agreed Sunday to buy Time Inc. in an all-cash deal valued close to $3 billion. Meredith is backed by $650 million in financing from the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, who are known for supporting conservative political causes. Meredith, however, said the Kochs' private equity fund would not have a seat on its board and would "have no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations." The acquisition would allow Meredith, which publishes Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle, to add such high-profile magazines as Sports Illustrated, Time, and Fortune to its publishing and broadcasting empire. Meredith held unsuccessful talks to buy Time Inc. earlier this year, and in 2013.

2

U.S. stocks aim for records on Cyber Monday

The three main U.S. stock indexes edged up early Monday as Cyber Monday kept retailers and their rising online sales in focus after Black Friday kicked off holiday shopping in earnest. Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq-100 futures all gained about 0.1 percent. In a shortened session on Friday following a break on Thanksgiving, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent to close at a record high. The Nasdaq also notched another all-time high, while the Dow gained 0.1 percent to close less than half a percentage point shy of a record.

3

Battle over control of federal consumer watchdog heads to court

The battle for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau escalated late Sunday. Leandra English, the deputy director promoted Friday by her outgoing boss, filed suit to block White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, named as interim CFPB director by President Trump, from taking over. English said Trump's appointment of Mulvaney was unlawful, because the Dodd-Frank financial reform law gave the outgoing director authority to name an acting director until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement. The Justice Department said the fact that Dodd-Frank says the deputy director can serve as acting director does not override the president's authority under the 1998 Vacancies Reform Act. Trump has expressed eagerness to rein in the bureau, which Republicans complain has been too aggressive toward banks.

4

Rising Bitcoin hits another milestone

Bitcoin surged above $9,000 to the latest in a string of record highs on Sunday. The cryptocurrency went as high as $9,484 before settling at $9,336 in the evening, a gain of 6.4 percent for the day. Bitcoin only passed the $8,000 milestone a week ago. It has risen by more than 43 percent in the last month, and by more than 750 percent this year. It's now within striking distance — about 6 percent — of the psychologically important $10,000 mark. "The only two levels that matter are $10,000 and $5,000," Arthur Hayes, co-founder and chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, told Forbes earlier this month. "The rest is just noise."

5

Mumbai airport sets record for flights in a single day

Mumbai's airport just set a record for handling the most flights ever by a single-runway airfield in one day, The Times of India reported on Sunday. The record of 935 take-offs and landings at Mumbai International Airport on Friday came as rising incomes and cheaper fares offered by budget carriers are driving an increase in air travel in India, soon to be the world's third largest market behind China and the U.S. Due to a shortage of land, Mumbai's airport, which has two criss-crossing runways that can only be used one at a time, probably never will have parallel runways like the ones found at major hubs such as New York, London, and Delhi. Still, officials in Mumbai hope to reach 1,000 daily flights eventually by increasing efficiency.

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