* DraftKings Inc. will go public after it signed a merger agreement with special purpose vehicle Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. and sports betting and gaming technology company SBTech (Global) Ltd. The combined company will have a market cap of about $3.3 billion on closing and will be led by DraftKings CEO Jason Robins.
* China refuted allegations of forced labor at a Shanghai prison following reports that Christmas cards were packed by inmates, Reuters reported. Tesco PLC suspended production at a Chinese factory, saying it abhors the use of prison labor and would not allow it in its supply chain. Separately, H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB investigated whether its products were made in a Chinese jail and warned its suppliers in China to not use prison labor after a former British inmate said he saw prisoners working with the H&M logo, The Times reported.
* Harrods Ltd. is planning to open its first store outside the U.K. in Pudong, China, in 2020, Retail Gazette reported.
* JD Sports Fashion PLC defended its acquisition of Footasylum PLC, which is under investigation by the U.K. antitrust watchdog, stating that the takeover will benefit customers. "The merger generates a number of efficiencies including the preservation of Footasylum's existing brand supply that will, as a result, benefit consumers," JD Sports said in its statement to the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA issued an interim order against JD Sports proceeding any further with the planned acquisition until it concludes the second phase of its investigation.
* Hudson Ltd. and Dufry AG won an eight-year duty-free retail contract at Toronto Pearson International Airport, which will be effective from June 2022 to June 2030.
* Intu Properties PLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to sell the Intu Puerto Venecia Shopping Centre in Zaragoza, Spain, for €475.3 million. Intu expects to receive net proceeds of about €115 million excluding debt repayments, taxes and working capital adjustments from the deal, which is expected to close in early 2020.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng decreased 0.15% to 27,864.21, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.04% to 23,830.58.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.09% to 7,630.15, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.13% to 1,154.45.
On the macro front
The Redbook index for retail sales and Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index reports are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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