Movers & Shakers: July 22, 2019

Stocks are poised for a bump ahead of a jam-packed week of second-quarter earnings. The top three equity benchmarks are expected to open with marginal gains after closing with declines on Friday. This week, ten companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, including Boeing, Coca-Cola and Caterpillar Inc., report financial results. Facebook, Google-parent Alphabet and Tesla also release earnings. Investors continue to expect a rate cute at the end of July, but the reduction could be a quarter-percentage point, less than previously thought.

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Disney king of the box office again, another boon for CEO Bob Iger. "The Lion King" earned roughly $185 million over the weekend, making it the largest July opening ever. Meanwhile, "Avengers: Endgame" surpassed "Avatar" as the highest-grossing film of all-time. Iger was the mastermind behind Disney's $4 billion 2009 purchase of Marvel Entertainment and after 16 films the franchise has earned the entertainment giant billions of dollars. The next challenge for the 68-year-old CEO, who says he will retire in 2021, is launching Disney's new streaming service that will face tough competition from Netflix and new entrants like AT&T.

T-Mobile and Sprint's $26.5 billion deal is nearing a finale after months of speculation. But the outcome of the merger continues to be uncertain. Still, regulators have signaled to the telecom firms that the tentative divestment structure will satisfy anti-competitive concerns. The Department of Justice is preparing a splashy announcement this week to tout to consumers the benefit of the combination of the third-and-fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers, respectively. Opponents say the industry consolidation will lead to higher costs for customers, among other outcomes.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe poised for a historic win. The 64-year-old leader's Liberal Democratic Party won a bulk of the 124 seats up in the country's Sunday election, setting up Abe to be Japan's longest-serving prime minister. Overall, the party controls 141 of the 245-seats in Japan's upper house of Parliament, but Abe failed to garner the two-thirds majority he needed to achieve a goal of amending the nation's constitution. On the list of upcoming challenges for Abe is reaching a trade deal with President Donald Trump.

Shane Lowry wins the British Open: The 32-year old Irish golfer overcame harsh weather conditions to take home the top spot at the annual tournament that took place at the Royal Portrush club in Northern Ireland this year. English golfer Tommy Fleetwood took second place, while U.S. golfers Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka took third and fourth place, respectively.