What to watch for today
China and the US meet for an awkward military exercise. Naval craft from 23 countries will take part in the largest maritime exercise in the world in Hawaii, but the inclusion of China for the first time will make for an uneasy fit, given its recent aggressive moves in the South China Sea.
Nike reports mixed results. The sportswear company’s fourth-quarter results will be boosted thanks to the World Cup, although the company warned in March that weak currencies in emerging markets could drag on profits.
A US consumer rebound. Economists expect consumer spending to improve, consistent with recent improvements in consumer sentiment, job creation, and housing data.
World Cupdate. Portugal v Ghana is at 12pm (EDT), as is USA v Germany.
While you were sleeping
China discovered $15 billion in fraudulent gold-backed loans. The country’s chief auditor uncovered evidence of falsified gold transactions in commodity-backed financing deals. Stockpiles of copper and aluminum may have also been pledged as collateral multiple times.
The missing Malaysia Airlines flight’s crew was probably oxygen-deprived. That’s the most likely scenario according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which has outlined a new deep-sea search area for the plane.
The London Stock Exchange went shopping. The LSE is set to buy US asset management firm Frank Russell, creator of the Russell 2000 small-stock index, for $2.7 billion, expanding its reach in the United States.
Standard Chartered lowered its sights. The bank warned that operating profits for the first half of the year may be down by 20% from a year ago due to difficult trading conditions.
GoPro’s IPO aimed high. The company that makes rugged cameras for extreme sports priced its shares at $24, at the high end of a $21-24 range, raising $427 million for valuation of up to $2.96 billion. One unusual risk the company faces: customers injuring themselves.
Barclays was sued over “dark pools.” New York’s attorney general alleged the bank put the interests of high-speed traders ahead of its own clients (paywall). The bank called off a $1.5 billion debt offering after the lawsuit was announced.
Quartz obsession interlude
Dan Frommer on why developers still opt to work on Apple’s iOS before Google’s Android. ”There are more Android apps available than iOS apps—almost 1.3 million, according to AppBrain, versus 1.2 million available iOS apps, according to AppShopper. But that’s not the best representative of priority—many apps on both platforms are low-quality, and only a small percentage of apps become breakout businesses.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Bigger iPhones spell trouble at Apple. It makes the company a follower, not a leader.
The financial markets need less liquidity. The SEC is toying with making some markets less efficient to reduce dangerous volatility.
Mexico is the new China. Its competitive labor costs and proximity to the US mean investors should take a look.
Tabloid newspapers are dead. So says a certain salmon-colored broadsheet (paywall).
Harley-Davidson is having a midlife crisis. As baby boomers outgrow their “Easy Rider” fantasies, the iconic company is struggling to stay relevant.
Your car’s World Cup flag is killing the planet. Increased aerodynamic drag could result in millions of kilograms in extra carbon emissions.
A free lunch turned ugly. A Chinese billionaire promised New York’s neediest $300 to dine with him, but was heckled when he didn’t pay out.
There’s a lot of writhing in Brazil. Honduras’s players spend the most time demonstrating their World Cup agony (paywall).
The battle armor of the future might be spider silk. Strands from genetically-modified silkworms could be woven into protective clothing.
Kenya is the world capital of second-hand fashion. The stylish used clothing called mitumba is a huge money maker.
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