The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended the week at records as investors weighed the latest batch of second-quarter earnings from some large tech names.
In individual moves, Walt
’s “The Lion King” remake became the company’s fifth blockbuster of 2019; Apple agreed to buy a majority of Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business for $1 billion; and the Justice Department approved T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint.
Walt Disney Co.
Talk about the circle of life. Twenty-five years after the release of “The Lion King,” a remake of the animated classic became another Disney blockbuster, grossing $185 million at the domestic box office on its opening weekend. The film appears poised to become the most successful yet of Disney’s remakes of its older animated works. Critics said the new film lacked the emotional pull of the original, but audiences gave it an “A” grade, according to the CinemaScore market-research firm. In 2019 alone, Disney has released hits such as “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Toy Story 4” and “Aladdin,” with March’s “Dumbo” as its sole misfire. Disney shares gained 0.7% Monday and 3.4% for the week.
The Justice Department didn’t hang up on T-Mobile’s merger with
Regulators approved the tie-up Friday after the companies agreed to create a new wireless carrier by selling assets to satellite-TV provider
T-Mobile shares rose 5.4% and Sprint shares gained 7.4% Friday. The two carriers have spent weeks negotiating with antitrust enforcers over the transfer of building blocks for a network to Dish in order to satisfy concerns that the merger would hurt consumers by reducing price competition.
Tesla keeps hitting new potholes. Chief Executive Elon Musk said Wednesday that Tesla’s technology chief, JB Straubel, will be transitioning to a senior advisory role as his responsibilities are being taken over by Drew Baglino. Mr. Straubel’s departure marks one of the highest-profile exits from the electric auto maker. Meanwhile, Tesla shares dropped 14% Thursday after the company also reported a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss. Tesla reiterated that it would deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles this year but warned it would emphasize expanding its production capacity and model lineup over increasing the bottom line.
Facebook is now paying a real price for its privacy practices. It agreed to a record $5 billion fine to settle a long-running investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. A day later, on Thursday, its shares lost 2.4%. The company agreed to better police its data-privacy practices after the yearlong FTC probe found the company had repeatedly used deceptive disclosures and account settings to lure users into sharing personal information, undermining their actual privacy preferences. Facebook wrestled with another privacy misstep earlier in the week when news emerged that a technical error had recently allowed children on a Facebook messaging app to interact with users who weren’t approved by their parents.
Boeing shares fell 3.7% Thursday as the aerospace giant said it wouldn’t bid on a giant Pentagon program to replace the nation’s land-based nuclear missiles, a potential opportunity valued at more than $60 billion. Earlier, Boeing said Wednesday it might slow or halt production of its 737 MAX jetliner if regulators don’t approve its return to service by the end of this year. The warning came as the company reported its biggest quarterly loss to date, after taking an initial $7 billion hit on the grounding and slowed production of the MAX.
Amazon can’t quit New York City. Months after rejecting the Big Apple as the site of a new campus, it is scouring the city for office space. Its search includes the historic building that formerly housed Lord & Taylor’s flagship store, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The e-commerce giant has held talks with WeWork Cos. to lease as much as the entire 12-story building—big enough to fit several thousand employees, the Journal reported. Amazon has been considering multiple locations for hundreds of thousands of square feet of space, including the historic Farley Post Office, which sits across Eighth Avenue from Pennsylvania Station. Shares fell 1.6% Friday after the company’s record profit streak ended.
Apple is showing new appetite for acquisitions. The Silicon Valley giant agreed to buy a majority of
’s smartphone-modem chip business for $1 billion, the company said late Thursday. Apple will acquire smartphone modem operations as well as a portfolio of patents and about 2,200 staff members, the companies said. Once completed, the deal will be Apple’s second-largest acquisition after the 2014 purchase of Beats Electronics LLC for $3 billion. Intel made the announcement as it reported a 17% drop in second-quarter profit, driven by weaker demand in China amid trade tensions. The Wall Street Journal had reported earlier this week that the companies were close to a deal. Apple shares gained 2.5% for the week.
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