What to watch for today
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).
US 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. The German airline said it was one of the biggest walkouts in company history and could set it back tens of millions of euros.
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.
Russia’s tussle with JP Morgan. After the bank blocked a payment from a Russian embassy in Kazakhstan to Sogaz Insurance Group, citing US sanctions, Russia called the action “unacceptable, illegal and absurd.”
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).
Virtu Financial delayed an IPO. Michael Lewis’s book critical of high-frequency traders caused Virtu to push IPO marketing plans back several weeks, Bloomberg reports.
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.
Australia lost out to Asia. Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris will close one Australian production plant and transfer capacity to South Korea, citing restricted export opportunities. BP will cease production at one of its Australian refineries by 2015, due to competition from larger and more competitive Asian refineries.
GM’s decision-making is questioned. General Motors decided in 2005 not to recall 2.6 million cars to change a faulty ignition component that has now led to at least 13 deaths. Emails seen during a court case over the issue suggest it decided not to in order to save 90 cents per unit.
NATO blanked Russia… 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.
… and announced war games in Ukraine. The Ukrainian parliament unanimously voted to allow NATO troops in to the country to carry out military training. The exercises will put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces over the border.
A Chile earthquake triggered a tsunami. The 8.2 magnitude quake caused a tsunami that prompted tsunami fears along the west coast of the Americas. Hours later, Peru and Chile remain on tsunami watch.
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
Sleep deprivation causes tech failures: A wide-spread lack of sleep in the tech industry is responsible for bad ideas and poor decision-making.
A right wing nationalist isn’t necessarily a bad thing for India. Narendra Modi could deliver better policies and revive the opposition.
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.
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.
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