Dec 14, 6:00 PM EST

Business Highlights


Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

NEW YORK (AP) - Disney is buying a big chunk of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal, including film and television studios, cable and international TV businesses and growing overseas as it tries to meet competition from technology companies. Fox will be a smaller company focused on sports and news.


FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality'

WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government has ended sweeping net-neutrality rules that guarantee equal access to the internet. The 3-2 vote along party lines Thursday at the Federal Communications Commission could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet. The ruling rolls back restrictions that keep broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from blocking or collecting tolls from services they don't like.


Rubio's defection threatens Senate GOP's margin on tax bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen. Marco Rubio says he will vote against the GOP'S sweeping tax package if negotiators fail to expand the child tax credit. His opposition would jeopardize Senate Republicans' razor-thin margin as they try to muscle the $1.5 trillion bill through Congress next week. Rubio wants to increase the portion of the $2,000 per-child tax credit that would go to low-income families.


Will US companies put overseas cash to work? Don't bet on it

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican tax plan seems about to hand a bow-tied holiday gift to some of America's richest multinational companies: tens of billions in tax breaks on profits parked overseas. Republicans say they're confident the companies will spend their windfall on plants, equipment, jobs and higher wages - investments that would energize the economy and serve workers. But remarks from some of the companies themselves suggest that the payoff for the nation will be meager.


FCC votes to kick off review of broadcaster ownership limit

NEW YORK (AP) - The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday on party lines to kick off a review of how many TV stations one company can own. The current limit says that one company can't own TV stations that reach more than 39 percent of the U.S. population. The FCC will determine over several months if it should eliminate or change that cap. Consumer groups worry that raising or getting rid of the cap will lead to more consolidation and fewer voices in local TV, including news broadcasts.


Decade since recession: Thriving cities leave others behind

WASHINGTON (AP) - In the decade since the recession began, the nation as a whole has staged a heartening comeback: The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, down from 10 percent in 2009. And last year, income for a typical U.S. household, adjusted for inflation, finally regained its 1999 peak. Yet the rebound has failed to narrow the country's deep regional economic disparities and in fact has worsened them, according to data analyzed exclusively for The Associated Press.


Delta orders 100 Airbus jets valued at over $12.7 billion

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines has picked Europe's Airbus over Boeing for a huge order of new jets. Delta said Thursday that it will order 100 Airbus A321neo jets with a sticker price of $12.7 billion and take an option to buy another 100 jets, a deal that Chicago-based Boeing had hoped to land. Financial terms of the order were not disclosed so it isn't known how much Delta will actually pay Airbus. Airlines typically get huge discounts off the sticker price of new planes.


Kellogg to millennials: Eat cereal and chill at new store

NEW YORK (AP) - Kellogg is opening a store in New York that it hopes will become a place where millennials will hangout and eat cereal. Cereal sales have been soft, and Kellogg Co. has tried to reach out to those in their 20s and 30s before, such as pitching cereal as a late-night snack in ads. Visitors of Kellogg's NYC Cafe pay up to $7.50 for a bowl of Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes that can be topped with sea salt and 30 other ingredients.


Health care companies, banks drive lower close for US stocks

NEW YORK (AP) - Health care companies and banks drove U.S. stocks lower Thursday, pulling the major indexes below their recent highs. The afternoon slide, which erased gains from earlier in the day, came on news that some Republican senators' support for the GOP's proposed tax overhaul bill was faltering. The losses outweighed gains among retailers, which got a boost from a government report showing that retail sales jumped in November.


The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 10.84 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,652.01. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 76.77 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,508.66. The Nasdaq shed 19.27 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,856.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 17.50 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,506.95.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 44 cents to close at $57.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 87 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $63.31 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline added 2 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $1.67 a gallon. Heating oil rose a penny to $1.91 a gallon. Natural gas slipped 3 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.68 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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