Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Sweden’s stuck, Air France fumbles, US Fed meeting, rotten comets

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What to watch for today

The Fed prepares to close the taps. The US Federal Reserve is convening today and tomorrow and will likely discuss the end of its asset-purchase program, or quantitative easing. New data from Germany (and Europe in general) may affect its decision; in July, the Fed said QE would end in October.

Sweden slices rates. Economists are expecting the country’s central back to cut the Swedish repo rate to 0.05%—a record low—from the current 0.25%. Sweden has had 16 months of deflation (paywall) during the past two years, and the krona hit a three-year low against the euro in July.

Air France jobs fly away. De Telegraaf reports (link in Dutch) that the directors of the Air France-KLM group will hold a meeting to discuss cost cuts. Earlier this month, the group said its full-year 2014 profit, due out Wednesday, could be down as much as half a billion euros due to two weeks of strikes.

Marvel delights its fans. Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man—the next film installments of these and several other popular franchises may be officially introduced at a “secret” event in Los Angeles. The Avengers is the third-highest grossing film ever made, so expect a lot of Hollywood buzz. Already rumored: Benedict Cumberbatch will play the lead in Dr Strange.

Earnings, earnings, and more earnings. Just a taste of the companies reporting today: Air China, AMC Entertainment, AU Optronics, Corning, Cummins, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Level 3 Communications, Marriott International, Novartis, Pfizer, Rogers, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and UBS.

While you were sleeping

Twitter met expectations—but still got no love. The microblogging service posted $361 million in sales, $10 million more than Wall Street predicted, and nailed earning-per-share of $0.01, but the stock was still down 10% in after-hours trading.

Another blow to German business confidence. The closely-watched Ifo Business Climate Index fell to 103.2 in October, a 22-month low. This was likely a reaction to the revised GDP figures issued two weeks ago.

ISIL got its hands on anti-aircraft rockets. And it may use them on commercial airliners or the jets being used by US-led coalition forces (paywall) according to German intelligence. Some of the missiles—captured from Syrian stocks—date back to the 1970s, while others are said to be modern.

Goldman Sachs stopped believing in oil. Another big Wall Street voice is forecasting long-term lower crude oil prices—as low as $75 per barrel in 2015. Joining Citi as a bear, Goldman Sachs says US shale oil will overpower anything OPEC can do to contain production.

The markets voted against Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s currency and main stock index fell sharply on the incumbent’s re-election as president on Sunday, interpreting her narrow victory over the pro-business Aécio Neves as a sign that the country’s economic stagnation will continue.

Quartz obsession interlude

Brian Browdie on the US economy’s relationship with gas. “Prices at the pump have dropped 18 cents in the past two weeks, to an average of $3.08 per gallon, their lowest level in four years. That should stimulate the economy, if what’s past is precedent. Every cent the price of gas drops in a year adds $1.4 billion to the economy, according to estimates. But that could be changing…” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Being an expert hurts your creativity. Too much knowledge makes you closed-minded.

Google’s dominance in search is over. Time for Larry Page to find a new one-trick pony.

Let’s stop tackling opium in Afghanistan. Almost $8 billion has been wasted so far, with no results.

The best way to treat cancer is to do nothing. Treating it will make you miserable.

Surprising discoveries

Obese children show all the signs of heart disease. Yet another reason to make them eat their vegetables (paywall).

Space smells disgusting. Europe’s Rosetta probe found that if you could inhale the gases from a comet, you’d smell rotten eggs and horse dung.

Chocolate reverses memory loss. But only in older folks.

Koreans don’t care about ”Made in Korea.” Preorders for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus are triple what they were for Samsung’s Note phablet in Samsung’s home country.

Boston is thinking about becoming Venice. The best way for the city to battle climate change is to dig some canals.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, chocolate, and gondola designs to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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