The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 36 points in late trading, while U.S. markets overall were mixed ahead of another important jobs report. The Department of Labor will release its April employment report tomorrow morning; economists expect the best report since November at 215,000 jobs added to the economy.
Key things to watch include how widespread jobs growth is and how wages are trending. The middle and lower class worker hasn't participated much in the economic recovery thus far, but as the unemployment rate falls workers should have more leverage to increase wages. Don't expect a blockbuster report, but more signs of a slow and steady recovery will be positive for the market.
Is AT&T making the right moves?
Today's big move comes from AT&T (NYSE:T), which is reportedly interested in buying DIRECTV (NYSE:DTV.DL). The reaction from the market isn't the strongest, with AT&T's shares down 0.4% and DIRECTV climbing 4%.
AT&T has been all over the map recently with reported interest in buying what's left of Vodafone and Dish Network, but none of these deals were more than rumor. That's the case with DIRECTV today, too, but I think this acquisition would make some sense.
AT&T is a dominant player in wireless but only has about 5.7 million subscribers to its U-verse pay-TV service. DIRECTV would add about 20 million to that and bring content such as the NFL Sunday Ticket. The satellite service could add some complementary services, as well as bringing content AT&T could offer to its large stable of customers. Don't underestimate the potential that streaming plays in this deal as well. Dish Network just signed a deal that would allow it to sell a streaming subscription to Disney channels. In a combined AT&T/DIRECTV, those deals could be negotiated with terms that help it move into streaming without losing subscribers overall.
The key for companies in media and telecom going forward will be the content and wireless delivery systems as people cut the cord of cable. AT&T has the network to offer wireless and streaming services and DIRECTV would bring a complementary cable offering and some content as well. The expanded offering could be attractive to both existing and new AT&T customers if bundled correctly and expanded.
Thus far, the potential acquisition is just rumor, and there's a chance that it could be scuttled by government antitrust concerns. But it's an intriguing deal and could expand the customer base of both companies.
Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of AT&T. The Motley Fool recommends DirecTV. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.