What to watch for today
Europe’s leaders discuss the euro zone. As IMF data predicts that Europe has a one-in-three chance of plunging back into a recession, politicians convene in Milan to figure out what—if anything—can be done to right the ship.
The US Federal Reserve opens the vault. Investors will comb through the minutes of September’s monetary policy meeting for clues on when the Fed will raise rates. Separately, former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke testifies about the 2008 bailout of AIG.
Amazon goes before the US Supreme Court. When your 12-hour shift stuffing boxes at an Amazon warehouse ends, you’re forced to stand in line for as long as 25 minutes so you can be searched for stolen goods. The court starts hearing a case brought by workers who want to be paid for that time.
PepsiCo shrugs off its lack of fizz. Sugar-water sales are flagging, but PepsiCo is also in the snack-foods industry, and investors are expecting a 1.2% increase in sales despite the soda slump.
Super-typhoon Vongfong gains strength. The cyclone off Japan was upgraded to “super” status as wind speeds reached 250 kph (155 mph), making it the strongest storm on Earth this year. It could still get stronger before hitting southern Japan at the end of the week.
While you were sleeping
Yum Brands took a food safety hit. The owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell said earnings per share would only grow 10% this year, compared to a growth projection of at least 20% previously. Sales in China, where it is the largest foreign restaurant chain operator, fell 14% in its third quarter after a food safety scandal hit one of its suppliers.
An Ebola mystery in Spain. Health authorities are trying to figure out how a nurse contracted the virus despite only visiting an infected patient’s room twice, both times while wearing protective equipment. Meanwhile, the nurse’s under-quarantine husband is trying to save their dog from being euthanized.
More evidence of slower spending in China. The HSBC/Markit services purchasing managers’ index, which tracks smaller companies than the government’s index, fell to 53.5 in September, from an 18-month high of 54.1 in August. (A figure above 50 indicates expansion.) Meanwhile, retail sales growth during the country’s “Golden Week” holiday slowed to 12.1%, from 13.6% last year.
The bidding war for Allergan got complicated. The manufacturer of Botox has also turned down repeated takeover offers from Valeant Pharmaceuticals and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, but might be willing to consider bids of at least $200 per share from Activis, sources told Reuters. Valeant and Ackman are considering raising their offer for Allergan by $4.5 billion (paywall).
Walmart cut back on health benefits. Starting next year, an additional 30,000 part-time employees will have to fend for themselves. The move is part of a shift by major US retail chains away from providing health insurance to their workers.
Quartz obsession interlude
Leo Mirani on the simple device that could turn any car into a connected car. “Look under the hood of most modern cars and you will be hard pressed to identify what part does what. As a result, drivers suffering a fault with their cars must take the word of the garage or dealership when they say something is wrong with it. Being able to see what’s going on under the hood on your smartphone ‘allows a better relationship between consumer and vehicle,’ says Pavan Mathew, O2’s head of connected cars.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Stay-at-home dads don’t deserve extra praise. But it’s hard to resist giving it to them.
America doesn’t care about Syria’s Kurds. It only cares about the stability of Iraq.
Never, ever, pay a ransom. Doing so only encourages future kidnappings.
Ebola is the ISIL of viruses. Or the Putin of Stalin, or the North Korea of peanut allergies—in short, stop using ridiculous metaphors.
Blame DNA for your crippling caffeine addiction. How your body processes the stimulant is determined by fewer than 10 genes.
Going to the gym increases job satisfaction. Especially if you take time off work to exercise.
It pays to play video games. One US college is handing out 35 “athletic” scholarships for “esports” stars.
Bangladesh has discovered the secret to making people poop indoors. “Shame and disgust” messages were key.
Steroids enhance performance for life. Banning an athlete for two or even four years is pointless.
Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.