Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks shares climbed on reports that the companies are considering a merger as they grapple with a rapidly changing media landscape in the Internet era. The combination would create a video-content producer with $10 billion in revenue, a sprawling global reach and greater leverage with cable and Internet firms. Elon Musk says he won “verbal” government approval to build the world’s longest tunnel for an ultrahigh-speed train line to connect New York to D.C. The train, known as a hyperloop, would make the 220mile trip in 29 minutes, Musk said in a post on Twitter. He provided few details, and a spokesman for his new digging enterprise, called the Boring Co., declined to comment. Such an ambitious project would require billions of dollars in funding and extensive approvals from federal, state and local authorities. Musk separately tamped down expectations about Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s new rocket designed to carry private citizens into space, saying whoever chooses to be among the first passengers will need to be “brave.” Shares of Sears Holdings soared as much as 19 percent Thursday to their highest level this year, after the limping retailer announced plans to sell its Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com. The chain, which is closing hundreds of stores, pitched the partnership as a way to reach new customers and drum up sales. Customers will also be able to control the company’s smart appliances using Amazon’s voicecontrolled assistant, Alexa. American Express Co. spent the most in nine years on rewards last quarter as it worked to retain customers lured by offerings from competitors. Amex, which has described its core U.S. cardholders as those with incomes of more than $200,000, has seen customers flock to products such as JPMorgan Chase’s Sapphire Reserve.