What to watch for today
Amazon ramps up its competitive streak. In a mysterious event in New York, the company is set to unveil a streaming device that will let viewers watch Amazon content on their TVs. Rumor-mongers expect an Android dongle (rather than a set-top box) that will double as a games console.
Asos sells its growth plan to shareholders. Escaping investors wiped a fifth off Asos’ value after the online fashion retailer warned of slow sales in the UK and higher spending in China due to its expansion plan. Analysts expect half-year pre-tax profits to fall by 23% (paywall).
American jobs survive the winter. The ADP non-farm payrolls figure is set to climb to 195,000 new jobs added, which will allow economists to blame February’s poor reading of 139,000 on a particularly brutal winter. This number is seen as a suggestion of what to expect in the official payrolls report on Friday.
Striking pilots ground Lufthansa flights. Hundreds of thousands of passengers could be affected by a three-day strike of Lufthansa pilots that starts today amid a long-running pay dispute. The German airline said it was one of the biggest walkouts in company history and could set it back tens of millions of euros.
While you were sleeping
Goldman is leaving the floor of the NYSE. Goldman Sachs is considering putting its New York Stock Exchange “designated market-maker” business up for sale. The bank bought Spear, Leeds & Kellogg in 2000 for $6.5 billion, and analysts value it at around $30 million today (paywall).
Spain’s FCC rebuilt its finances. The Spanish construction group FCC secured backing from its lenders to refinance €4.5 billion ($6.2 billion) of debt amassed largely during Spain’s pre-crisis construction boom. The news came just days after FCC won part of a €3.9 billion Peruvian contract (paywall).
The Republicans rolled out reforms. Paul Ryan unveiled a proposal that would see the US balance its budget within 10 years in what will be a key campaign platform during Congressional mid-term elections this November. The plan would kill Obamacare and cut other social spending, but not raise taxes.
NATO to Russia: Talk to the hand. The international military alliance said it would no longer cooperate with Russia after its annexation of Crimea. NATO’s secretary general called it “the gravest threat to European security in a generation” and said the group could roll out further measures against Russia.
An engineering merger entered the pipeline. Weir, the Glasgow-based engineering company, offered its Finnish rival Metso, the market leader in mining equipment, a $5 billion all-share merger deal. Metso shares jumped 19%, but one of its major investors spoke out against the takeover.
A rightwing nationalist isn’t necessarily a bad thing for India. Narendra Modi could deliver better economic policies as well as giving new life to a leftist, secularist opposition.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on how climate change will mean more jellyfish—and less sushi. “Since fish are lousy at adapting to hotter water, they simply move to where it’s cooler. This, says the IPCC report, will hurt commercial fishing in a big way. As fishing populations in the equatorial areas disappear, more fish and marine invertebrates will be pushed toward the poles. That means fishing fleets will have to travel farther, driving up costs. And some species won’t survive these strange new habitats.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Big Pharma is getting in the way of cancer research. Cancer drugs usually come in a cocktail. That’s tricky to patent and bad for profits.
Sheryl Sandberg could be heading back to politics. She’s sold more than half her Facebook shares since the company went public in 2012.
“Stop-and-frisk” is effectively a tax on African-Americans. If cops applied it more evenly, white people would quickly realize how intolerable it is.
Venezuela is like the old lady who swallowed a fly. The country’s unstoppable attempts to boost its economy are just making things worse.
Gmail is 10 years old. It almost didn’t happen, though.
A town with no running water has some of the world’s fastest internet. It’s in the world’s northernmost human dwelling place, in Norway, where there are more polar bears than humans.
Hobby Lobby’s embarrassing investments. The company that sued for the right not to cover contraception for its workers invested their retirement money in funds that included contraceptive manufacturers.
US healthcare workers tend to be less healthy than others. And have an unusually high risk of obesity.
This year’s best April Fool pranks on the internet. In case you missed them.