What to watch for today
More grim news on the Chinese economy… The country’s official monthly manufacturing data, the purchasing managers’ index, is expected to fall to 49.7 from 50 in July, suggesting that the economy is contracting.
…And Canada may have fallen into a recession. Second-quarter GDP is projected to fall by 0.9%, in the second consecutive month of declines, due to the decline in energy prices. That would signal the country’s first technical recession in four years.
Car makers shift into gear. US auto companies are expected to report a slight decline in August’s new vehicle sales, due mostly to a late Labor Day holiday weekend, but to remain above 1.5 million. Passenger car sales have declined, but customers are buying more trucks and SUVs—a good sign for Detroit.
Hurricane Fred moves through the Atlantic. The storm strengthened near the Cape Verde Islands, becoming a Category 1 hurricane with winds at 85 mph (135 kmh). It will continue to move through the islands, bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds, but is not a threat to the US or the Caribbean.
Earnings to kick off September: Dollar Tree, H&R Block, Qihoo 360, Donaldson Company, Guidewire Software and others all report results.
While you were sleeping
Another explosion at a Chinese industrial zone. State-run media reported a loud blast at a chemical industrial zone in Dongying, in the eastern province of Shandong, before midnight local time (12pm ET). As of early morning, no casualties had been reported.
A UK hedge fund exec got grilled in China. Li Yifei, chairwoman of Man Group’s China unit, was taken into custody and interviewed for a police probe about stock market volatility, Bloomberg reported. Chinese regulators are investigating traders who may have shorted stocks during the market’s precipitous declines.
Toshiba delayed its financial report, again. Instead of announcing annual results on Aug. 31, as scheduled, the scandal-shaken Japanese company apologized and said it needed more time to sort out newly-discovered accounting errors. Toshiba is already three months behind on delivering its annual report, which is now due Sep. 7.
Violent protests injured dozens in Kyiv. Lawmakers tried to make peace in Ukraine’s war-torn eastern regions by voting to give them more autonomy, but the move triggered intense rioting outside the parliament in Kyiv. More than 100 people, mostly police, were injured in a grenade blast, and one national guardsman died.
A Turkish court jailed three Vice journalists for allegedly helping ISIL. Two Britons and their Iraqi translator were filming in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakir, where violent clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdish separatists have taken place.
Quartz obsession interlude
Marc Bain on why Serena Williams doesn’t earn more in endorsements. “This gap has no logical explanation, except for long-held prejudices about female sports stars and how people feel they should look. … [A]nother woman, Maria Sharapova, also earns significantly more, and it’s likely because she’s willowy, white, and blonde.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Ethnic food, once scorned, is now being appropriated. Immigrant cuisine has become a cultural scavenger hunt.
Twitter works, but it’s not a good business. Perhaps it would be better off as a public utility.
Americans, learn how to say “BeiJing.” It’s not a French word, so no soft “j” sounds please.
Scientific researchers are addicted to mice. Even though don’t serve as useful human proxies.
Becoming a billionaire doesn’t ensure happiness. The creator of Minecraft is suffering from alienation.
High-quality feces is a hot commodity. Human donors can earn earn $40 per dump.
Put your Nutella jar on lock-down. Demand for a German designer’s invention is outpacing supply.
Starkist is paying out in tuna to settle a lawsuit. Consumers can claim $25, or $50 worth of canned fish.
Designers are making incontinence-friendly lingerie. It was featured at New Zealand Fashion Week.
A startup is finding roommates for asylum seekers in Austria and Germany. It’s like Airbnb for refugees.