What to watch for today
A hiring bonanza in the US. The jobs report is expected to be particularly upbeat; yesterday’s preview from payroll company ADP said 281,000 private sector jobs were created in June.
Steady as she goes in the euro zone. The European Central Bank is expected to keep interest rates unchanged, though some think it may launch Federal Reserve-style asset purchases. Last month, the monetary authority cut rates to a record low of 0.15%.
Canada shrinks its trade deficit. With the US recovery gaining traction, Canada’s exports should have a positive impact on the country’s balance of trade in May.
A look at Brazil’s World Cup effect. HSBC releases its purchasing managers’ index for the service industry for June, which will serve as a useful way to gauge how much hotels, restaurants, and bars have benefitted from football.
While you were sleeping
Sweden’s central bank surprised the markets with a bigger-than-expected rate cut, slashing its benchmark rate from 0.75% to 0.25%. The move is intended to combat persistent deflation, which Sweden can’t seem to shake despite its frothy property market.
Obama has unfinished business with Wall Street. The US president wants to see reforms that reduce banks’ appetites for risks that could harm many but only benefit a few. Obama told the radio program Marketplace he also wants banks to profit from investing in US growth, not just from “trading bets.”
China brought big business to Seoul. The founders of Huawei and Alibaba, along with other business leaders, are accompanying China president Xi Jingping on a diplomatic trip that includes meetings with his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye, and executives from Samsung. It’s the latest example of the close relationship that has developed as China’s relations with North Korea and Japan have cooled.
Japan moved to ease North Korean sanctions. Shinzo Abe’s government said it will lift some of its restrictions against the hermit kingdom—its citizens, ships, and commerce are currently banned from Japan—after North Korea agreed to reinvestigate the fate of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.
Australian retail sales took a fall. A 0.5% decline in retail sales in May surprised analysts who expected them to remain flat. Slowing activity in Australia’s mining sector appears to be dragging on consumer confidence.
American Apparel’s ousted CEO handed over his shares. Ousted CEO Dov Charney gave his voting rights to Standard General, the hedge fund that had previously supported him in an attempt to retake control of the retailer. American Apparel has not met with Charney since he was suspended and will only deal with Standard General.
Quartz obsession interlude
Jenni Avins plumbs the history of America’s wedding-industrial complex. “While 2013’s average wedding price tag of $29,548 is pretty staggering, Depression-era couples in the US—when unemployment hovered between 17% and 20%—were no slouches either when it came to wedding spending. The average 1930s spend of $392.30 ($6,481 in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation) may sound modest, but it was worth one quarter of household income back then (pdf).” Read more here.
Matters of debate
No one ever expects the Islamic caliphate. A constrained Western political imagination is unable to fathom a wider world where liberal democracy isn’t ascendent.
China’s war on bribery will probably fail. Unless the political system is reformed, “all anti-graft campaigns are but a redistribution of power.”
Climate change destabilized Iraq. Droughts and other strains on natural resources are fueling the unrest there.
The true story of Tinder is worse than you think. The controversial dating app also tried to erase the existence of its female co-founder.
Don’t trust #nofilter. Around one in 10 Instagram users using the hashtag are totally lying.
Tibetans have high-altitude genes from cavemen. DNA inherited from Denisovans, a Neanderthal-like cousin to homo sapiens, lets them function with less oxygen.
Goldman Sachs is suing Google over a misaddressed email. The bank would really like the message to be deleted.
Beyoncé makes nearly twice as much as Jay-Z. She earned $115 million in the year to June 1, according to Forbes.
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