What to watch for today
Chinese manufacturing keeps accelerating. Analysts expect the HSBC/Markit flash PMI to rise to 52.0 for April, after rising to 51.7 for March and 50.4 for February. (Over 50 indicates expansion.) What a difference from last year.
EU ministers seek to fix the carbon-market mess. Finance ministers meeting in Dublin this week could talk about energy-market reforms, a week after the European Parliament derailed efforts to curb oversupply in carbon-emissions trading markets.
French parliament votes on gay marriage, amid ruckus. The lower house of France’s parliament will vote on a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. There have been large protests against the measure, and on Monday, one lawmaker was sent an envelope filled with gunpowder.
Is US housing still reviving? Markets will be watching for latest numbers on new home sales, a key economic barometer, after Monday’s slightly disappointing reading on existing home sales. FactSet reports a consensus expectation of 430,000 new home sales for March.
The Apple of investors’ eyes. Tech giant Apple is expected to report a drop in profit for the first time in 10 years, and its share price has lost the luster it had last year. Can better-than-expected numbers restore its image?
How funky is Yum’s chicken? When KFC owner Yum! Brands reports second quarter earnings, investors will be looking to see if the outbreak of a mysterious form of bird flu in China has set the company back. Earlier Yum! said that March sales had fallen 13%, but it’s weathered worse outbreaks before.
While you were sleeping
Italy and Spain started looking less scary. 10-year borrowing costs for Spain and Italy dipped to levels not seen since late 2010, suggesting that investors were less nervous about both countries. That’s probably because Italy decided to re-elect its 87-year-old president over the weekend, restoring a modicum of stability.
The US charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The 19-year-old injured suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was charged with using “weapons of mass destruction,” which can apply to pretty much any explosive device. He was not, however, charged as an “enemy combatant,” something some Republicans had lobbied for.
Canada thwarted a terror plot. Canadian police arrested two people in connection with a plot supported by al-Qaeda. The accused, both Canadian citizens, apparently meant to derail a passenger train in the Toronto area.
Twitter inked its biggest ad deal yet. The social media company entered into a structured partnership (paywall) with Starcom MediaVest, a part of ad giant Publicis Groupe. The deal gives the latter’s prime clients—including Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Microsoft and Coca-Cola—premium ad slots on Twitter and access to research and data.
Quartz obsession interlude
Matt Phillips on why Pimco’s Bill Gross no longer thinks UK bonds are “nitroglycerine.” “Our, and the market’s, understanding of how debt crises work has evolved a lot since the early days. And the bottom line is that as long as countries have a central bank with the ability to print money and support domestic bond markets and economic growth (see the US, Japan, and the UK), investors see that as a strength, not a weakness. It’s when countries don’t have the flexibility—see Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, which are all in the euro—that excessive debt starts troubling the markets.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The culprit behind China’s deadly earthquake? Maybe a giant dam.
Greece is going to be ok. No, really.
Ten ways to lower crime without taking away guns. A uniquely American perspective.
North Korea: We’ll nuke America, but we wouldn’t bomb a marathon.
Proof: the internet doesn’t help dictators. There are no good examples of countries with rapidly growing internet populations and increasingly authoritarian governments.
Bikini ban on some Emirati beaches. The UAE put signs on some public beaches warning that bathers who wore skimpy attire—i.e. bikinis and briefs—could be fined.
Space trash crash! A study suggests that satellite orbits will become far more perilous. “Catastrophic collisions” could occur every 5-9 years.
Earthquake aid, meet porn marketing. A Japanese adult-film star is raising money for survivors of the Sichuan quake.
And you thought men were the promiscuous ones. Before the age of 25, women have more sex.