6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The United Kingdom and European Union finally set terms to move ahead with negotiations to severe their relationship. According to Reuters:

Britain and the European Union struck a deal on Friday to move on to talk about trade and a transition period after they agreed the outline of their divorce, easing the pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has set deals to get people shop in the days before Christmas. According to CNBC:

 In the final weeks before Christmas, Walmart is making its biggest push yet for the company’s order online, pick up in store service.

This holiday season, the big-box retailer will qualify more items on Walmart.com for same-day pickup in stores than ever before, Walmart announced Friday. The company continues to tap into the 90 percent of Americans who live within 10 miles of a Walmart store.

Walmart said it sees demand for same-day orders doubling during the final two weeks of the holiday shopping season, when the retailer’s massive stores transition into mini fulfillment centers for “millions” of online orders.

China posted unusually strong trade numbers for November. According to Reuters:

Chinese dollar-denominated exports rose 12.3 percent year-over-year for the month of November, easily topping the 5 percent expected by a Reuters poll.

Similarly, November’s dollar-denominated imports rose 17.7 percent against the year-ago period, compared to an 11.3 percent gain expected by a Reuters poll.

Overall, China’s November trade surplus was $40.21 billion — above an expected surplus of $35 billion, Reuters said.

A date has been set for the trial between the government and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) over its buyout of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX). According to CNNMoney:

The Justice Department’s lawsuit to block AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner has a trial date: March 19, 2018.

In a short initial status conference on Thursday in the United States District Court for Washington D.C., Judge Richard Leon said the trial will last around three weeks and that he expects a decision in late April or May.

Either way, the decision would come after the current April 22 cutoff date for the acquisition, after which AT&T must pay Time Warner a $500 million breakup fee unless the two companies extend the deadline, which they have already done once.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) will open almost 1,000 stores next year, bucking the ongoing trend in brick-and-mortar retail. CNNMoney reports:

The discount chain announced Thursday that it plans to open 900 new stores in 2018 for the second year in a row. Dollar General did not say how many new jobs the openings could create.

“Our first priority remains investing in new stores where we continue to see great returns,” said CFO John Garratt on a call with investors

Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) YouTube will launch a paid music service. According to Fortune:

Youtube is reportedly planning to launch a paid music streaming service that would compete directly with Spotify  and Apple Music, and go a long way toward appeasing record executives who complain the site takes too big a bite of their revenues.

… YouTube’s paid service is slated to roll out next March and Warner Music Group is already onboard. Two other industry giants — Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group — as well as Merlin, a consortium of independent labels, are reportedly in talks to sign up.