The daily business briefing: November 13, 2019

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Harold Maass
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ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
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1.

Disney launches new streaming service

Disney has officially launched its new streaming service, Disney+. The service, which costs $6.99 a month, was made available in the United States Tuesday morning, launching with a slate of originals including the first live-action Star Wars television series, The Mandalorian. Disney+ also features films from the studio's library, including installments in the Star Wars and Marvel franchises, with more originals from both properties on the way. The Disney+ launch comes less than two weeks after Apple also entered the streaming market with its own service, Apple TV+, which costs $4.99 per month. Disney CEO Bob Iger has described Disney+ as a "bet on the future of this business." [CNN]

2.

Trump criticizes Fed in economic speech

President Trump used a high-profile speech on Tuesday to tout the strength of the economy and criticize the Federal Reserve for holding back growth by raising interest rates too fast and lowering them too slowly. Trump called for the central bank to set negative interest rates. Some countries have "openly cut interest rates so that many are now actually getting paid when they pay off their loan," Trump said at the Economic Club of New York. "Give me some of that. Give me some of that money ... Our Federal Reserve doesn't let us do it." Trump noted that since his election the S&P 500 has risen more than 45 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has jumped by 50 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite has gained 60 percent. [NBC News]

3.

Dairy giant Dean Foods files for bankruptcy

Leading U.S. milk producer Dean Foods has filed for bankruptcy protection after a long struggle with lower milk prices and declining sales as consumers increasingly turn to other beverages. The dairy giant's more than 50 brands include Dean's, Land O' Lakes, and Country Fresh. Dean said it planned to continue operating during the bankruptcy process. It also said it was "engaged in advanced discussions" about a possible sale of the company to Dairy Farmers of America, a national milk cooperative of farmers and producers that includes brands such as Borden cheese. Dallas-based Dean has about 15,000 employees. [USA Today]

4.

Supreme Court says Sandy Hook victims, families can sue gun maker

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Remington Arms' appeal seeking to block a lawsuit over the use of one of the company's rifles in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. A survivor and relatives of victims in the attack, which left 26 people dead, filed the lawsuit against the North Carolina-based gun maker, saying it never should have offered a weapon as deadly as the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle to civilians. The gunman in the shooting, Adam Lanza, used one of the weapons to kill 20 first graders and six educators. Remington had argued that it was protected legally under a 2005 federal law shielding firearm manufacturers from most lawsuits over the use of their guns in crimes. [The Associated Press]

5.

Stock futures sink ahead of Fed chair speech

U.S. stock index futures fell early Wednesday as investors awaited remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to Congress that could provide hints of the central bank's next moves on interest rates. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were down by about 0.4 percent. U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday after a speech by President Trump in which he called for the Fed to lower rates further. Trump also said he wanted to reach a deal with China to end the trade war between the world's two biggest economies. Negotiators from the two sides reportedly remain bogged down over lifting tariffs as they try to hammer out a first phase of a trade deal. [CNBC, The Wall Street Journal]