Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
More job creation in the US… Fingers are crossed for the best payrolls report in five months, with most analysts expecting that 210,000 new jobs were added during April (although the margin of error on that estimate is pretty high.) Here are the six charts to review ahead of the big US jobs report.
… although not in Europe. The monthly euro zone unemployment rate is forecast to stick at 11.9%. If high joblessness (along with low inflation) across the bloc doesn’t improve, the European Central Bank will face increased pressure to intervene with economic stimulus—a move it has avoided making.
Pfizer sweetens its offer for AstraZeneca. The pharma giant is preparing to increase its £60 billion ($101.4 billion) bid for the Anglo-Swiss drugs company any day now to more than £63 billion, with a larger cash component. AstraZeneca rejected the original cash-and-stock proposal of £46.61 per share.
Chevron slides to lower profits. After ExxonMobil’s earnings slump reported yesterday, investors will be curious to see whether Chevron can beat its rival. The energy company has already warned that the weather over the last quarter could weigh on its earnings, which are expected to drop 19% from last year.
Russia and Ukraine chat gas. Officials from the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine will meet to discuss the region’s precarious energy situation (paywall) in an attempt to prevent Moscow from cutting off the gas supply to its neighbor after Kiev refused to respect an almost-doubled price hike.
While you were sleeping
The EU closed its doors to Indian mangoes. Brussels’ ban on imports from India of mangoes and aubergines came into effect after shipments infested with fruit flies triggered concerns about damage to crops in the EU. Critics claim the ban will hurt European revenue and waste Indian produce.
Ford appointed an unsurprising new CEO. Frontrunner Mark Fields, currently the company’s chief operating officer, will take the wheel on July 1, replacing Alan Mulally. The business is performing well right now but, in the car industry, a crisis is never too far away.
UK’s Channel 5 got an American owner. Viacom agreed to buy C5 (paywall) from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell Media for £450 million ($760.5 million), marking the first time a US company will control a public-service broadcaster in the UK. The transaction will net Desmond more than four times his initial investment (paywall.)
LinkedIn reported slowing growth in sales. The professional social networking site swung to a loss of $13.4 million, on a 46% increase in revenue. The sales growth was its lowest since going public in May 2011.
Quartz obsession interlude
Mark DeCambre on the Swiss commodities giants snapping up chunks of US energy. “Secretive commodities investors like Vitol Group, Trafigura Beheer BV and Mercuria Energy Group are among the firms amassing physical assets like shale oil wells, oil and gas pipelines and offshore drilling projects in the US, Bloomberg reports. Why? The controversial fracking boom, which has driven US energy production sharply higher in recent years. Commodities firms want to get a piece of that production. They also see opportunities for arbitrage—that is profiting from price discrepancies—in the sometimes inefficient US oil and gas transport system.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Be wary of Africa’s debt expansion. The growth story of frontier markets is attractive, but points to instability and potential turbulence (paywall.)
The Clintons need to learn to deal with the media. It’s not personal—reporters thrive on critical coverage.
Don’t hold your breath in the search for ET. Astronomers are misguided in looking for signs of extraterrestrial life on an Earth-like planet.
The pet industry is not sustainable. Two German Shepherds consume more resources just for their annual food needs than the average Bangladeshi uses each year in total.
Seattle is about to implement the world’s highest minimum wage. The hourly $15 would beat current top dog Luxembourg’s $13.35.
Chinese censors turned Game of Thrones into a “medieval European castle documentary.” That’s what some viewers said was left after the version of the HBO series airing on state television this week was stripped of much of its fighting and nudity.
Science can help you win rock-paper-scissors. For example, men usually start with rock.
There’s now a clothing line for surfing the web. It includes white track suits and bed linens.
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