Nation & World Glance
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks slipped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and said it expects to increase rates two more times by the end of the year. Investors bet that several huge deals are more likely to happen after a federal court cleared AT&T’s $85 billion purchase of Time Warner.
Wall Street was already certain the Fed would raise interest rates Wednesday. The central bank’s decision makers also said they plan to raise rates two more times later this year for a total of four increases. Investors had debated all year if rates would rise three or four times, and some are concerned that if rates rise that quickly, it could stifle economic growth because consumers and businesses will have to pay more to borrow money.
Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox
NEW YORK — Comcast made a $65 billion bid Wednesday for Fox’s entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next megamedia company.
The bid comes just a day after a federal judge cleared AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner and rejected the government’s argument that it would hurt competition in cable and satellite TV and jack up costs to consumers for streaming TV and movies. The ruling signaled that Comcast could win regulatory approval, too; its bid for Fox shares many similarities with the AT&T-Time Warner deal.
Comcast says its cash bid is 19 percent higher than the value of Disney offer as of Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal and others reported earlier that Comcast had lined up $60 billion in cash to challenge Disney for media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s company. Disney’s offer was for $52.5 billion when it was made in December, though the final value will depend on the stock price at the closing.
“This is a golden offer that will put considerable pressure on (Disney CEO Bob) Iger and Disney to step up their game on another bid,” GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives said. “This is even higher than the Street thought, which speaks to Comcast really wanting these key assets.”
The battle for TwentyFirst Century Fox comes as traditional entertainment companies try to amass more content to compete better with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention — and dollars.
Strong Pennsylvania storm damages businesses, overturns cars
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A strong storm has pounded parts of Pennsylvania, damaging buildings, overturning cars and downing trees and power lines.
The storm struck a shopping plaza in Wilkes-Barre (WILKS’-ba-ree) Township Wednesday night. The area was under a tornado warning at the time.
Township police wrote on their Facebook page that there were reports of “multiple collapsed buildings.”
Photos posted on social media show shattered storefronts and major damage to numerous businesses including a Panera Bread restaurant. It was not immediately clear if there were any injuries.
Stocks slip after Fed says interest rates will rise faster
BY THE NUMBERS Dow Jones Industrials: – 119.53 to 25,201.20 Standard & Poor’s: – 11.22 to 2,775.63 Nasdaq Composite Index: – 8.09 to 7,695.70