1. How to hunt a Fox: The latest wrinkle in the race to acquire 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets involves Disney boss Bob Iger.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Iger is likely to extend his tenure as CEO beyond his 2019 retirement date if Disney lands the Fox assets.
Comcast is also said to be exploring a bid for the assets, which likely include Fox’s movie studio, FX, National Geographic and Indian business Star.
Why does this matter?
Iger has repeatedly extended his tenure in recent years amid a troubled search for a successor.
The Financial Times reported earlier this week that James Murdoch, the current chief executive of Fox, could join Disney as part of the deal. The newspaper suggested he could even succeed Iger.
2. Bitcoin above $14,000: Another day, another bitcoin record.
The digital currency has shot above the $14,000 mark for the first time — the third big barrier it’s broken in less than 24 hours.
It had already zipped past $12,000 and $13,000 in the past 24 hours before popping above $14,000 on Thursday.
Despite a flurry of warnings from top economists and business leaders, its upward trajectory has continued — albeit with a few sharp dips along the way.
After breaking above $11,000 last week, it abruptly plunged by more than $2,000 before resuming its climb. Buyer beware!
3. Brexit bites: British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying again to make progress on the Irish border, one of three key issues that must be addressed before negotiators can discuss trade terms with the EU.
May is racing to get a deal before a key EU summit next week.
But she is being hobbled by divisions within her own party, which remains at loggerheads over its plans for Brexit.
Opposition lawmakers aren’t happy either: They’ve been angered by news that the government department charged with negotiating Brexit hasn’t examined its potential economic impact.
The pound, which has been under pressure all week, dropped 0.1%.
4. Media deal in court: AT&T and the U.S. Department of Justice will be in court on Thursday.
The Justice Department filed a suit to block AT&T’s bid to buy Time Warner, CNN’s parent company, citing antitrust concerns. The first big question the judge needs to decide is when to schedule a trial. The two sides disagree when that should be.
The case could have implications for other big mergers, including CVS’ $69 billion acquisition of Aetna.
5. Market overview: European markets were higher in early trade, but gains were limited to less than 1%. Asian markets were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei adding 1.5%.
U.S. stock futures were higher.
Wednesday was a mixed bag: The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 0.2%, while the S&P 500 was flat. The Nasdaq added 0.2% to snap a three-day losing streak.
6. Earnings and economics: Dollar General will release earnings before the open. Firearms manufacturer American Outdoor Brands, formerly known as Smith & Wesson, will report after the close.
U.S. data on initial jobless claims will be published at 8:30 a.m. ET.
7. Coming this week:
Thursday — DOJ vs. AT&T in court
Friday — U.S. Jobs report