Fox hunt; Retail trouble; Bitcoin tops $12,000

premarket wednesday
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1. Fox hunt continues: Is Disney close to a deal with 21st Century Fox?

Disney (DIS) is reportedly in advanced discussions to buy parts of the media behemoth controlled by the family of Rupert Murdoch.

Shares in Disney dropped 3% on Tuesday after CNBC reported that it could buy Fox (FOX) assets including its movie studio, FX, National Geographic and Indian business Star.

Speculation reached a fever pitch after the Financial Times said that Murdoch's son James could join Disney as part of the deal, and perhaps succeed CEO Bob Iger.

The two companies have declined to comment, but investors won't be changing the channel.

2. Retail trouble: Shares in Steinhoff International plunged as much as 60% on Wednesday.

Steinhoff isn't a household name in the U.S. But the retailer is a major player in Africa and Europe, where its holdings include the U.K.'s Poundland.

CEO Markus Jooste resigned on Wednesday and the company announced an investigation into "accounting irregularities."

Steinhoff also delayed its annual results, saying it would publish "when it is in a position to do so."

3. Global markets drop: It's shaping up to be a tough day for stocks.

U.S. stock futures were lower. European markets were awash in red, following the mood set in Asia.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite was about the only index to buck the trend, posting a gain of nearly 0.7%.

U.S. oil futures dropped 0.4% to trade near $57 per barrel.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 0.5%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq suffered smaller losses.

4. But wait! Bitcoin is back: Bitcoin has surged above $12,000 for the first time.

The digital currency is up 1,100% since the start of the year -- despite leading figures in finance and economics warning of a bubble.

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5. Companies and economics: American Eagle (AEO) and H&R Block (HRB) will release earnings before the open, while Broadcom (AVGO) and lululemon (LULU) will follow after the close.

The U.S. crude inventories report for the week of December 2 is set to be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Canada's central bank will announce an interest rates decision at 10 a.m. ET.

The Australian dollar dropped against other major currencies after new data showed the economy grew slower than expected in the third quarter. Australia has not suffered a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction, since 1991.

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6. Coming this week:

Wednesday -- H&R Block (HRB), American Eagle (AEO) earnings
Thursday -- DOJ vs. AT&T status conference
Friday -- Jobs report