What to watch for today
Kerry joins Iran nuclear talks. Secretary of state John Kerry flies to Geneva to join discussions over Iran’s nuclear facilities. The six world powers are expected to have offer Iran some relief from sanctions if the country agrees to stop developing its nuclear program.
A sluggish US jobs market. The US is expected to add around 120,000 paid jobs, its weakest growth since March—but could take an even bigger hit from the recent government shutdown. The unemployment rate is expected to rise a notch. Consumer confidence data, key to the holiday shopping season, come out too.
Is Telefónica ripe for takeover? Even though the Spanish telco’s stock has climbed about 20% since August, analysts expect earnings per share to fall 26% from last year on 10.5% lower revenues. Investors will be watching for hints of a potential takeover by AT&T, though that’s starting to look less likely.
While you were sleeping
Super Typhoon Haiyan pummeled the Philippines. Having already maxed out the scale that measures storm strength, Haiyan made landfall this morning, bringing giant waves and powerful winds. The storm should pass over the country’s central islands in the coming days and could then threaten China or Vietnam.
The White House nominated a top BofA banker. Stefan Selig, executive vice chairman of global corporate and investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is president Obama’s pick to be the next under secretary for international trade.
Hong Kong invested in London. Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the special administrative region’s banking regulator, purchased 50% of a project in London’s luxury shopping district. When finished, the development could be worth 475 million pounds ($764 million).
China’s exports rebounded, rising 5.6% last month from a year earlier, while imports increased 7.6%. Both numbers beat market expectations after exports surprisingly fell in September.
A crackdown on fatty foods. The US Food and Drug Administration took its first step toward banning unhealthy trans fats from the food supply, saying that partially hydrogenated oils—a major source of trans fats—are no longer general recognized as safe.
Quartz obsession interlude
Matt Phillips on Spain’s housing bust and the staggering losses that come with it. “This is a painful process of recognizing an ugly real estate reality: There are far more houses than buyers. The result? Sales of repossessed properties were on average done at prices 71.5% lower than where the houses were originally valued. That means the average price for a house that was originally sold for €100,000 in say, 2006, repossessed and then sold during the first half of 2013, would have brought a price of €28,500.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Male phone designers are neglecting female users. Large smartphones, designed to be held overhead for photo-taking or used with one hand, don’t work for women.
Small stores will take bitcoin before major retailers do. It’s simpler and cheaper than accepting credit cards, and faster than PayPal.
Computers are making society less equal. Smart software requires training and a certain cognitive ability, which widen the digital divide.
A hard line is the only way to bargain with Iran. The only solution is a complete reversal of the Iranian nuclear program, and the world powers should not relax sanctions for anything else.
How not to get arrested. Rule number one: if police can’t see you, they can’t arrest you.
Burger King’s newest Big Mac clone. The “new” Big King sandwich is the company’s latest attempt to copy McDonald’s’ signature sandwich.
The blockbuster of Blockbusters. San Antonio has more video rental stores than 40 states put together.
World domination: achieved. Lady Gaga will become the first artist to perform in space, scheduled for 2015.