The Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality, which prohibits internet service providers from favoring some users over others. Supporters of net neutrality, which was enacted during the Obama administration, said they might challenge the FCC's action in court.
Disney's acquisition of part of 21st Century Fox is expected to get the same antitrust scrutiny the Justice Department has given other major media mergers. If the deal closes, one of the six major Hollywood studios will be absorbed by Disney and Disney's strong position in sports broadcasting will become even more dominant.
Hong Kong led the trend as most Asian-Pacific stock markets declined Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.6%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.1%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.2%; China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.8%; South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5%; and India's Sensex was up 0.7%.
After generic-drug-maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries announced it was laying off more than a quarter of its workforce and was suspending its dividend, the company's shares jumped 14.6%. The company said it is restructuring to reduce its cost base by $3 billion within two years.
Japan's major corporations are more confident about the economy than at any time in the past 11 years, according to the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey. The quarterly reading reached 25 for December, up from 22 in September.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is reviewing EU post-trade reporting rules for derivatives transactions to determine whether they can be considered equivalent to US rules. The CFTC exempted 16 EU trading platforms from US registration requirements but didn't address EU post-trade reporting rules.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have increased scrutiny of investor fees and high-fee share classes, a shift due partly to the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, as well as a trend toward passive investing, industry participants say. "The regulatory bodies believe that the all-in cost of retirement is too high," said Whitfield Athey, CEO of Delta Data.
IndexIQ has brought to Nasdaq a large-cap equity exchange-traded fund linked to the Chaikin Power Gauge stock-rating model, which investment strategist Marc Chaikin developed. The model analyzes Nasdaq US 300 Index stocks based on value, growth, technical and market-sentiment factors.
Goldman Sachs reportedly wants 100% margin from some clients for clearing bitcoin futures trades, inclusive of margin requirements by Cboe Global Markets and CME Group. "Margin decisions are based on multiple factors and vary on a case-by-case basis," Goldman spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin said.
Britain's withdrawal from the EU is challenging a fundamental goal of Europe's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive: to improve market transparency. The situation could prompt a rewrite of rules.