* Alphabet Inc. has spun off its renewable energy storage project, called Malta, TechCrunch.com reports. Project Malta has now become an independent company, Malta Inc., and has secured $26 million from a Series A funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
* IMAX Corp. has surpassed $1 billion in revenue at the worldwide box office, Deadline.com reports. The milestone was reached mainly because of strong box office performance from Hollywood blockbusters such as "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Black Panther," though local-language flicks contributed more than $100 million to the total.
* Paramount Pictures' "Bumblebee" topped the list of television ad spending for movie studios with an estimated media value of about $7.8 million from Dec. 10 through Dec. 16 for 1,299 national ad airings on 44 networks, according to an edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv. The Viacom Inc.-unit ran the ads on networks, including CBS (US), NBC (US) and ABC (US), and during programming such as NFL Football, "The Loud House" and "The Amazing World of Gumball."
* Facebook Inc. suspended five accounts run by multiple individuals for allegedly "engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior," The Washington Post reports, citing a company statement. The accounts that were suspended reportedly engaged in an operation to spread disinformation during the special election in Alabama in 2017.
* International Business Machines Corp. said it found no evidence to suggest that sensitive company information or client data was compromised because of a cyberattack by Chinese hackers, Bloomberg News reports. The statement came after the U.S. Department of Justice accused China's Ministry of State Security of running a campaign to steal intellectual property from dozens of companies, including IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.
* "Z Nation" will not return on Comcast Corp.'s Syfy (US) for a sixth season, according to an announcement by executive producer David Michael Latt in a Periscope video. The final episode of the fifth season of "Z Nation" will air on Dec. 28.
* Comedy Central (US) has picked up rights to all seven seasons of NBCUniversal Media LLC's "Parks and Recreation" series, Multichannel News reports. Comedy Central will debut the series in a full-day marathon on Jan. 21, 2019, while users will also be able to stream select episodes on the Comedy Central website and app.
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.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, Nikkei 225 increased 0.89% to 19,327.06. (Hang Seng closed)
Most European Markets are closed as of Dec. 26.
On the macro front
The Redbook report, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI report, Richmond Fed manufacturing index report and State Street investor confidence index report is due out today.
M&A Replay: Meredith completes Fortune media brand sale; Zynga to buy Small Giant Games: Meredith Corp. closed the sale of the Fortune media brand for $150 million in cash to Fortune Media Group Holdings. Zynga Inc. agreed to buy Finland-based mobile game developer Small Giant Games Ltd. in a cash-and-stock deal.
The week in OTT: Golf TV bolsters lineup; 'Fixer Upper' top series on Sling TV: Discovery reached an extensive rights deal with the Ladies European Tour, while "Fixer Upper," the Joanna and Chip Gaines remodeling series that has ended its original run on HGTV (US), was Sling TV's most popular series in 2018.
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