What to watch for today
Japan’s factories chugging along. Industrial output has been rising for the last four months, and that trend is likely to continue. The Bank of Japan will also release its monthly economic report for July, a day after it said the economy was recovering for the first time in 2.5 years.
US banks report second-quarter profits, with healthy gains from trading and investment banking expected. JP Morgan’s earnings are expected to rise to $1.42 per share on revenue of just under $25 billion. Wells Fargo is expected to book a profit of 92 cents a share, but its revenue is expected to decline 6% year-on-year.
Status quo in Mexico. Mexican central bankers are expected to leave their official interest rates unchanged at 4%. Inflation is dropping toward the central bank’s 4% target ceiling, however, and some analysts expect rate cuts later in the year aimed at boosting Mexico’s economy.
While you were sleeping
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer restructured the software company. The broad reorganization is aimed at pulling sprawling units together, as it aims to—like Apple and Google—focus more on devices (paywall) such as tablet computers and the services that run on them. It’s also a way for Ballmer to consolidate power.
US stocks hit highs. The S&P 500 index and Dow Industrials both had record closing levels, as comments Wednesday by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke eased concerns the US central bank would start tapering its bond buying.
The US and European Union reached a deal to regulate derivatives. Regulators will jointly supervise derivatives traders in their territories. The agreement gives participants in the $630 trillion market more flexibility and allows banks to escape some of the stricter regulations enforced after the financial crisis.
The US and China to start investment treaty negotiations. The bilateral treaty could facilitate more protections and market access for US investors in China. The last round of talks held in 2008 was inconclusive.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on how China’s banks continued to lend despite the central bank’s directions: “The ‘Big Four’ state-owned banks—China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commerical Bank of China, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China—lent a combined $27.7 billion in the first week of July (link in Chinese), reported the Shanghai Seucrities News (SSN). That’s compared with $44 billion for all of June. Some $35.4 billion of that was lent out in the first ten days of June, before rates hit prohibitive heights.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
China’s blackout of US websites isn’t just a media freedom issue. It’s also inconsistent with free-trade commitments under the WTO.
Globalization is the unsung hero of the empowered global middle class. Protests are about getting globalization right, not a fight against it.
The high-end art market is one of the most manipulated markets in the world. That is bad news for art lovers and most artists.
Every meeting needs a checklist. It’s a simple way to get maximum work done.
Investment bankers need to cut back on their expenses. Credit Agricole now won’t let bankers splurge on food, travel or hotels (paywall).
There’s a super-size ad budget for Google’s upcoming Moto-X Android phone. Google will spend the equivalent of half of Apple’s annual marketing budget to promote it.
The CIA allowed the admitted 9/11 mastermind to design a vacuum cleaner while being held in a secret prison. Officials hoped it would help undo the psychological effects of interrogation on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
A French winemaker is introducing cola-flavored wine. It’s aimed at younger drinkers, as French wine-drinking has dropped sharply in recent years amid a rise in beer and liquor consumption.
The inventor of Google Glass is developing wearable computers for dogs. They may let pets send messages to humans.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, plans for wearable computing for animals, and suggested wine flavors to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.