What to watch for today
The Fed talks the talk. The US central bank releases the minutes from its April meeting, which could reveal more about the Federal Reserve’s stance on a potential rate hike, which is expected either in June or September.
The US military launches its mini shuttle into space. In a largely classified, unmanned mission, the US Air Force’s “Air Force X-37B” space plane will bring along an extra payload in its fourth test flight: a small civilian satellite to test whether photons from the sun can be used to propel a spacecraft.
Spotify may announce web video plans. The Wall Street Journal reports that the streaming service is hatching plans to add video to its business to compete with the likes of Facebook and YouTube.
Salesforce reports earnings amid takeover talks. The cloud computing company is expected to report strong growth in the quarter for both earnings and revenue. But most investors will want to know whether the company is really fielding buyout offers.
Earnings, earnings, earnings: Target, Lowe’s, Staples, Williams-Sonoma, Hormel Foods, and American Eagle Outfitters also report quarterly results.
While you were sleeping
Malaysia and Indonesia will house stranded Rohingya migrants. The countries said they have identified potential temporary accommodation for the estimated 7,000 migrants stranded at sea. The decision to accept the Myanmar natives comes more than a week after the countries refused the boats permission to dock.
UBS was fined heavily. The Swiss bank will pay US regulators $545 million to settle allegations of foreign-exchange manipulation, but will not face charges because it was the first bank to report the conduct to authorities. Four other banks are expected to plead guilty to charges today.
Altice reportedly made a bid for Time Warner Cable. The French cable and broadband company made the offer after Time Warner Cable’s attempted merger with Comcast fell through, according to Bloomberg. Altice is also already in talks to buy Suddenlink, the US’s seventh-largest cable company, for $10 billion.
Burberry lowered its profit forecast. The British luxury coat maker’s full-year pre-tax profit rose 7% from a year earlier to £456 million ($707.6 million), but it said currency fluctuations would wipe £40 million from its previous forecast for the year ahead. Burberry also faces uncertainty in some markets; its share price fell by almost 6%.
A mainland Chinese solar equipment maker crashed. Hanergy Thin Film Power group’s share price dropped 47% in morning trading after a six-fold increase over the past year. The company was due to host its annual general meeting in Hong Kong today but its chairman failed to show up, leaving investors waiting for an explanation.
Japan’s economy grew faster than expected. GDP grew at an annualized 2.4% in the first quarter, beating expectations, due in part to stronger-than-expected consumer spending. But business investment was lower than expected, suggesting further stimulus measures may still be necessary.
Quartz obsession interlude
Anne Quito on an artist’s panoramic coffee cup illustrations of Japan, which portray the country better than any guidebook. “With a pencil, a pen, an ink brush or watercolor paints, he captures quiet scenes of urban life, portraits of strangers reading in café, playing with their smart phones, and even salary men snoozing in Tokyo’s subway.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
We need to democratize the economy. Political power flows from money, and that means today’s hyper-concentration of wealth needs to end.
Uber is just getting started in China. The low-priced “People’s Uber” service is still a major threat to domestic competitors.
Is nicotine actually bad for you? As smokers switch to gum or vaping, there are far fewer risks with the drug than smoking.
Women should be able to wear flats on the red carpet. The Cannes Film Festival doesn’t seem to agree.
Two of the world’s great explorers met in 1985 at the North Pole. Neil Armstrong and Edmund Hillary were joined by Steve Fossett, the first man to fly a balloon around the world.
Hezbollah has endorsed lemonade. The group’s secretary-general says it’s the best for delivering long speeches.
Obama made Twitter history. His account is the fastest to reach 1 million followers.
80% of sunscreens contain suspect ingredients or don’t work at all. Neutrogena gets a badge of shame.
Audi makes a bicycle that weighs less than five iPhones. But it’s as expensive as a car.
Spiders can spin their own parachutes. They used them to rain down on one Australian town.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, coffee cup art, and a bank that hasn’t been fined for rigging the financial system to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.