Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Netflix’s wobbly growth, Square’s IPO, owl attacks

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What to watch for today

Macro data from the US. Consumer prices are expected to have fallen in September due to a strong dollar and low oil prices—although excluding fuel and food, the figure may inch up. Jobless rates are also expected to creep upwards, suggesting the Fed could delay its long-awaited interest rate hike.

Time’s up for Puerto Rico’s electric company. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is at the end of its ninth extension to reach a deal with bondholders over $8.3 billion of debt. The territory is also reportedly in talks to issue a “superbond” to restructure its $72 billion in debt, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs release third-quarter earnings. The giant banks are expected to feel the pain from China’s turbulent stock market; Citigroup has already said it expects trading revenue to be lower. UnitedHealth, Blackstone, Charles Schwab, and Mattel are also expected to release results.

While you were sleeping

Netflix fell short of expectations. The video streaming company’s shares plunged by as much as 14% after it reported 880,000 new US subscribers; analysts had expected 1.2 million. Netflix attributed the shortfall to a recent switch to chip-enabled credit cards in the US. International subscriber growth outpaced expectations.

Walmart spooked investors. The US mega-retailer warned that wage increases and investments in e-commerce would result in flat sales and a decline of 6% to 12% in earnings per share for fiscal 2017. The company’s shares fell by about 10%, erasing $20 billion of market value in less than 20 minutes.

Mobile payments company Square filed for an IPO. Documents show the six-year-old business grew its first-half revenue by 51% compared to a year earlier, to $560.6 million, but still suffered a loss. Square will be watched closely to see how Jack Dorsey, who is also CEO of Twitter, manages to oversee two companies at key transitional periods.

Australia’s job market took a surprise dive. The economy lost 5,100 jobs in September, compared to expectations of a gain of 9,600 jobs, with full-time work being hit the hardest. A fall in the number of people looking for work has also worried some analysts.

South Korea lowered its growth forecast. The central bank expects a GDP growth rate of 2.7% in 2015 (paywall) and 3.1% in 2016, both down by 0.1% compared with earlier projections, while inflation expectations were also lowered. That comes as emerging markets suffer a slowdown; the central bank left its base rate unchanged at a record-low 1.5% today.

Tesla upgraded its Model S to a near-driverless car. The electric car company pushed a beta-stage update to existing customers that means their vehicles are now able to steer, change lanes, and park autonomously. But Tesla chief Elon Musk warned that drivers will still need their hands on the wheels for safety.

Japan reopened its second nuclear reactor. Kyushu Electric Power restarted an 89-megawatt reactor at the Sendai nuclear plant—only the second to be made operational since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Prime minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for a return to nuclear power despite widespread public opposition.

Quartz obsession interlude 

Frida Garza on why a New York restaurant empire is ending the injustice of tipping. “Critics of tipping—ubiquitous in the United States, though rare in the rest of the world—say that it is inherently unfair, not only because it rewards food servers over food preparers, but because tips are not meted out based on the quality of service. In turn, it incentivizes servers to prejudge customers based on stereotypes about who tips well.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Credit scores are oversimplified. Complex consumers shouldn’t be reduced to a single number.

A Republican will win the 2016 US presidential election. Despite the primary chaos, computer models favor the GOP.

The US tech industry’s diversity drive is missing ethnic minorities. It’s becoming “inclusive” mainly to white women.

Europe should stop whining about its migration crisis. The aging continent needs an influx of workers.

Antarctica’s ice sheet is not melting uncontrollably. It’s important to remember that we can affect the speed of its melting.

Surprising discoveries

Training for a marathon can make you gain weight. Unfortunately it’s not just “muscle weight.”

Sweden is teaching kids about menstruation with singing tampons. They already know about sex from dancing genitals.

You can get half an MIT masters degree for free. You don’t have to ever appear on campus.

A vicious owl is attacking runners in Washington, DC. The creature has its own Twitter account.

Being born in the summer may be better for your health. Not to mention the outdoor birthday parties.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, free education, and owl-fighting tips to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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