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Ackman’s back and Allergan — 5 things to know today

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are opening mixed Thursday, while crude oil futures have slipped to a new six-year low on persistent concerns about oversupply and weak global demand growth.

Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Jason Cipriani and it takes a look at Apple’s (AAPL) new streaming music service, Apple Music, which still has kinks to work out a little more than a month after its launch.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Ackman takes a swing at Mondelez

Activist investor Bill Ackman has built a 7.5% stake in Oreo-maker Mondelez International, in a move which could herald another mega-merger in the fast-consolidating food and drink sector. Reports suggest Ackman wants the company to either beef up its cost-cutting program or find a buyer for itself–and Mondelez’ old owner Kraft Foods is already being touted as a possible buyer.

2. Dealmaking drug company reports

Today brings a quarterly financial update from the company formerly known as Actavis, which recently changed its name to Allergan (AGN) after the Botox-making company it agreed to buy last fall. The company paid nearly $70 billion for Allergan in a deal that closed earlier this year and investors will now be interested to hear about the “new” Allergan’s latest dealmaking ways, including the $40.5 billion sale of its generic drug business to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) and its recent purchase of biopharma company Naurex.

3. More earnings: Media and Booze

Viacom (VIA), which owns movie studios and cable channels such as MTV and Comedy Central, is expected to post disappointing third-quarter revenue as it suffers (much like its large media rivals) from declining advertising sales due to weak television ratings and customers’ migration away from cable subscriptions toward streaming video options. Also reporting today, AMC Networks (AMCX) is expected to beat Wall Street’s expectations with second-quarter profits that could see a boost from spending cuts as well as higher ad revenue from the final season of popular TV show Mad Men. Meanwhile, brewer Molson Coors Brewing (TAP) and MillerCoors (its joint venture with SABMiller) report second-quarter numbers today that are expected to show sales hurt by the strong U.S. dollar as well as the increase in customers opting for craft beers.

4. Weekly jobless claims

The market’s will be eyeing today’s weekly report on jobless claims for an additional peak at the nation’s employment situation ahead of tomorrow’s monthly jobs report. The U.S. Labor Department is expected to report that the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week increased by 6,000, to 273,000 claims. Investors will be watching the report closely, along with Friday’s jobs report, as the Federal Reserve has said it is looking for signs of a sustained economic recovery before it implements its long-anticipated interest rate hike later this year.

 

5. Presidential debate season kicks off

The field of Republican presidential candidates (well, 10 of them) gather in Cleveland tonight for the first debate of the 2016 election season. All eyes will be on billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, who leads his rivals in the polls but also has shown off his penchant for inflammatory remarks, some of which have caused a long list of corporate partners to part ways with “The Donald.” While Trump will look to back up his performance in the polls with a strong showing at the debate, several other candidates will be watching from home after not making the cut due to low polling numbers, among them is former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

— Reuters contributed to this post.