US stocks edge up as Time Warner, Fox surge

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York June 4, 2018. — Reuters pic
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York June 4, 2018. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, June 13 — Wall Street stocks rose modestly today, absorbing a sweeping court ruling approving the merger of AT&T and Time Warner that was seen as clearing the way for further media consolidation.

US markets also were on alert for a Federal Reserve decision later today that was expected to lift the benchmark interest rate.

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up slightly at 25,327.06.

The broad-based S&P 500 added less than 0.1 per cent to 2,787.81, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2 per cent to 7,717.78, adding to yesterday’s record close.

US District Judge Richard Leon yesterday cleared the way for the US$85 billion merger of wireless and broadband giant AT&T with media-entertainment conglomerate Time Warner, delivering a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump’s administration in its first major antitrust court case.

Time Warner jumped 3.7 per cent in early trading, and AT&T fell 3.6 per cent.

Twenty-First Century Fox, which has a deal to sell key assets to Disney, surged 7.5 per cent, suggesting the market believes Comcast will enter a bidding war for the assets.

Comcast fell 1.7 per cent and Disney gained 1.6 per cent.

Investors also are looking ahead to the Fed’s interest rate decision, which will also offer signals on how many more rate hikes are likely to come this year and next. — AFP

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