Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Feb. 27:
1. -- Comcast Bids $31 Billion for Sky
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) said Tuesday, Feb. 27, that it was prepared to pay £22.1 billion ($30.88 billion) for Britain's Sky PLC (SKYAY) in a bid that would challenge both Rupert Murdoch's ambition to buy the remaining stake of his own company and Walt Disney Corp.'s (DIS) plans to own the European pay-TV giant.
Comcast said it would offer £12.50 a share for Sky, a 16% premium to Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s (FOXA) outstanding £10.75 bid for the 61% of Sky that it doesn't already own, a deal valued at around $15.5 billion. Comcast said its bid would be financed by cash and new debt and would need at least 50% approval by Sky shareholders.
"We think Sky is an outstanding company," Comcast said in a statement. "It has 23 million customers, leading positions in the U.K., Italy and Germany, and is a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver its customers a great experience".
"We are confident that we will be able to receive the necessary regulatory approvals. If successful, the acquisition will enhance our free cash flow per share in the first year," the company added. "The U.K. is and will remain a great place to do business. We already have a strong presence in London and Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for our growth in Europe."
Fox's bid to buy the rest of Sky it doesn't already own has been slowed by regulatory problems in the U.K. The primary problem is a preliminary finding by the Competition and Markets Authority that a Fox takeover would give the Murdoch family too much control of Britain's media.
2. -- Stocks Shaky Ahead of Powell Testimony
U.S. stock futures suggested Wall Street would open lower on Tuesday ahead of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 80 points, while those tied to the S&P 500 declined 9.75 points.
Powell's first of two appearances on Capitol Hill this week begins Tuesday with an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee. Investors will be focused on the new Fed chairman's views on the future direction of interest rates and inflation. Powell's testimony begins at 10 a.m. ET, while his prepared remarks will be released at 8:30 a.m.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes Durable Goods Orders for January at 8:30 a.m., International Trade in Goods for January at 8:30 a.m., and Consumer Confidence for February at 10 a.m.
Stocks finished higher on Monday, Feb. 26, as investors extended last week's global equity rally amid stabilizing bond yields.
Earnings are expected Tuesday from Macy's Inc. (M) , Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) , Weight Watchers International Inc. (WTW) , Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ) and Booking Holdings 'BKNG' (formerly Priceline.com Inc.)
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3. -- Report Says U.S. Security Panel Discusses Broadcom's Bid for Qualcomm
A national security panel that can stop mergers that could harm U.S. security has begun looking at Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom Ltd.'s (AVGO) plan to take over rival Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) , Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has been in touch with at least one of the companies in the proposed merger and met last month to discuss the potential merger of the two big semiconductor companies, the sources told Reuters.
Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday to have CFIUS officially review the proposed transaction before a key shareholder vote expected on March 6, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
The drama between Qualcomm and Broadcom continued on Monday, with the latter accusing the former of playing at "engagement theater" rather than engaging in real negotiations.
Earlier on Monday, Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs sent Broadcom CEO Hock Tan a letter proposing that the companies sign a non-disclosure agreement and iron out wide-ranging disagreements on regulatory strategy, the target's licensing business and price.
4. -- Fitbit Tanks as Earnings Miss Estimates
The holiday quarter was the first full quarter that the Fitbit Ionic, the company's first full-fledged smartwatch, was available. However, CEO James Park said that the fitness performance-focused watch didn't have enough mass appeal or a competitive price point to fare as well as other competitors in the smartwatch market.The CEO said that later in the year Fitbit will release a family of smartwatch products that will have broader appeal as the company widens its scope beyond fitness trackers.
5. -- Palo Alto Networks Jumps on Strong Earnings, Outlook
Shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW) jumped more than 5% in after-hours trading on Monday after the security-software company reported adjusted earnings in its fiscal second quarter that topped analysts' forecasts.
Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 97 cents a share, ahead of forecasts of 79 cents. The latest period included a gain of 11 cents a share from the new U.S. tax law.
Palo Alto Networks also raised its outlook for full-year revenue, billings and adjusted profit.
This article has been updated from 6:06 a.m. ET.