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The Washington Post Sunday - - TAKING STOCK -

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.

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