Afternoon Coffee: Dow Chemical and DuPont Agree to Merge, Alibaba Buying South China Morning Post

Dow Chemical and DuPont have agreed to merge and create what would be called “DowDuPont.” If the merger is completed and receives federal approval, DowDuPont would split into three separate companies focusing on agricultural chemicals, plastics and speciality products and materials.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. also announced today it would buy the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s biggest English-language newspaper. Alibaba said it wants to use the newspaper to promote China as a rising economic power, but others are concerned about the publication’s editorial integrity being compromised.

U.S. business inventories in October were virtually unchanged from September, the Commerce Department reported today. They were, however, up from 2% from October 2014.

UPS is reportedly struggling with the high amount of deliveries due to the spike in online sales this holiday season. The on-time delivery rate for UPS ground package delivery service dropped to 91% last week. At this time last year, the on-time rate was 97%.

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