24/7 Wall St.

6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Co.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) attacked the government’s argument that it must sell CNN before a merger with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX).

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) earnings were pummeled but revenue from Star Wars films provided a floor to otherwise grim numbers.

China will allow foreign companies to increase investments in its financial firms. According to Bloomberg:

China took a major step toward the long-awaited opening of its financial system, saying it will remove foreign ownership limits on banks and asset-management companies while allowing overseas firms to take majority stakes in local securities ventures and insurers.

The new rules, unveiled at a government briefing on Friday, will give global financial companies unprecedented access to the world’s second-largest economy. The announcement coincided with Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing and bolstered the reform credentials of Chinese President Xi Jinping less than a month after he cemented his status as the nation’s most powerful leader in decades.

Disney will make more Star Wars movies. According to CNBC:

The Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that Rian Johnson will craft a new trilogy for the “Star Wars” universe, greatly expanding the director’s command over the ever-expanding space saga created by George Lucas.

The announcement, made by Disney chief Bob Iger on a call with investment analysts, constituted the most ambitious new foray into the “Star Wars” galaxy, moving well beyond the original nine-film framework imagined by Lucas. Disney also announced a live-action “Star Wars” series that will debut on its streaming service which is set to launch in 2019.

Russia may restrict some U.S. media operating there. According to CNNMoney:

Russia is threatening action against U.S. media outlets operating there as soon as next week.

On Thursday Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview on Russian television that Russia is working on practical steps in response to U.S. government pressure on Russian-government owned media operating in the U.S.

“I think that our patience that is nearly run out will take some legal shape. I don’t rule out it will be done next week,” she said in the interview according to the state-run news wire TASS. “As of today, there is understanding that a practical phase of these response measures (in respect of US media in Russia over demands the RT broadcaster register itself as a foreign agent in the US) will begin next week.”

Disney’s ESPN staff is bracing for large layoffs. According to Sports Illustrated:

ESPN will lay off more than 100 staffers after the Thanksgiving holidays, multiple sources tell Sports Illustrated. The layoffs, which were described by a person briefed on the plans, will hit positions across ESPN including front-facing talent on the television side, producers, executives, and digital and technology staffers. The SportsCenter franchise is expected to be hit hard—including on-air people—given the frequency of the show has lessened considerably on main network ESPN.