Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Twitter results, Sony ditching Vaio, new bird flu, ice vs. pickle juice

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What to watch for today

The Time Warner reshuffle. The media and entertainment conglomerate is set to report its fourth quarter results, a day after it announced plans to spin off magazine unit Time Inc and shed 500 jobs. Analyst expect earnings of $1.15 per share and revenues of $8.39 billion.

Twitter lifts the veil with its first earnings report since listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Analysts, who expect a fourth-quarter loss of $0.02 per share on revenues of $217.8 million, will they look closely at ad revenue and active user growth; tweet questions for the earnings call to @TwitterIR.

Another potential US jobs uptick. January employment figures from ADP are due, following a spate of uplifting jobs reports. In December, the private sector added a better-than-expected 238,000 jobs.

While you were sleeping

Euro zone retail fell hard. December sales slid to their lowest level in two and a half years, putting more pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates.

Indonesian growth beat expectations. Fourth-quarter GDP increased by 5.8%, down from 6.2% the year before. It is the lowest growth rate in four years, but it bested the predictions of analysts, who expected more of a drag from high inflation and rising interest rates.

There’s a new bird flu in town. H10N8, only the fifth novel influenza strain in the last 17 years, has killed one woman in southeastern China and sickened another after jumping the species barrier to humans.

Sony looks to shed its PC business. The company is reportedly in talks with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners to offload Vaio, its loss-making personal computer unit, for between 40 and 50 billion yen ($391-489 million).

Japanese wages floundered, with inflation-adjusted pay falling 1.1% in December to the lowest level since the recession struck in 2009. That doesn’t bode well for consumer spending, as households with less money to spend face higher prices and taxes.

The Korean peninsula picked reunion dates. Families divided by the civil war six decades ago will have a chance to meet from February 20 at a North Korean resort.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on how the sell-off in emerging markets could hurt their banks. “Because emerging-market companies have been able to borrow so cheaply from foreign lenders, domestic banks had to find other customers. In other words, they had to lower their lending standards. A sharp run up in interest rates—which happens when central banks try to fight the currency slump by raising interest rates—could expose just how weak some of those borrowers were.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Obamacare discourages work—and that’s (mostly) a good thing. Delinking jobs from health insurance means that some people will choose to work less.

“Emerging markets” are meaningless. It makes no sense to put struggling nations like Turkey and strong countries such as Hungary into the same bucket.

Saving for a comfortable retirement is hopeless. You’d have to save for 110 years to get a sufficiently large nest egg.

Technology undercuts the case for immigration reform. If robots take over the low-skilled jobs, where does that leave immigrant workers?

Surprising discoveries

Online searches for Quaaludes have spiked. That’s the power of The Wolf of Wall Street.

The S&P 500 will have 501 members. Just temporarily, due to Google’s stock split (paywall).

The US exonerated a record number of convicts last year. In a third of cases, no crime was ever committed.

There are now only four emotions (down from six). Gone are the distinctions between anger and disgust, and fear and surprise.

Americans are the biggest gambling losers. But per capita, Australians punters lose the most by a long shot.

Icy weather’s garlicky nemesis. The eco-friendly efficacy of pickle brine.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Quaaludes, and new emotional shadings to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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