What to watch for today
The European Central Bank weighs options for boosting inflation. Central bankers meeting in Malta are reportedly edging toward a stimulus extension to prevent the euro from strengthening against the dollar. Bank president Mario Draghi will likely reiterate his willingness to prolong the stimulus—and such talk alone may stem the euro’s rise.
Republicans grill Hillary Clinton. She faces questions from a Congressional committee created to investigate a 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. But Republicans are now under pressure to demonstrate that the investigation—which has shifted to Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state—is not politically motivated.
Tech companies open their books. Amazon has projected an improved operating income this quarter, from a $544 million loss a year ago. Alphabet, the newly formed Google holding company, will report its first results since the reorganization, and Microsoft’s quarterly presentation will hinge on the success of its cloud business.
More earnings: Daimler, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, Raytheon, Under Armour, Caterpillar, United Continental, McDonald’s, Capital One, Southwest Airlines, and AT&T are all reporting quarterly results.
While you were sleeping
Ferrari’s IPO took off. The Italian car manufacturer’s shares rose by as much as 17% on its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. That bodes well for parent company Fiat Chrysler, which plans to finance global expansion plans for its Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati brands.
Samsung Engineering’s share price tanked. The construction arm of the Samsung Group reported a record 1.5 trillion won ($1.3 billion) third-quarter operating loss, on delayed projects in the Middle East. The company announced it would raise 1.2 trillion won by selling shares, which plunged as much as 24% in morning trading.
London and Hong Kong got closer to connecting their markets. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange signed a non-binding agreement to link its commodities trading platform to the London Metals Exchange (LME), the global center for metals trading. A “Hong Kong-London Connect” scheme would increase the LME’s exposure to investors in Asia.
Joe Biden made it clear he won’t run for president. The US vice president put to rest widespread speculation that he would challenge Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and Democratic frontrunner. Biden, flanked by his wife and president Barack Obama, referenced his son’s recent death as part of his decision not to run.
Apple announced more Chinese green energy investment. The iPhone maker will build solar power plants in China with a combined generation capacity of 200 megawatts (MW), in tandem with supplier Foxconn, which intends to add 400 MW of capacity by 2018. Apple has already built 40 MW of solar capacity in China’s Sichuan province.
Quartz obsession interlude
Steve LeVine on the hype, funding, and surprise sale of a battery startup. “In an age of routine billion-dollar tech deals and global fever for electric cars and clean-energy research, how did one of the few perceived jewels of advanced batteries sell for less than $100 million—to a vacuum cleaner company?” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Only 10% of “unicorns” are really worth $1 billion. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, predicts a correction among Silicon Valley startups.
Life in 2015 is pretty great. A Nobel Prize-winning economist says there’s more democracy and opportunity for education than ever before.
South African universities shouldn’t raise tuition fees. They are already dangerously close to becoming de facto private institutions.
All-male conference panels are no accident. The dearth of women speakers doesn’t “just happen.”
Refugees are very unlikely to be terrorists. The United States should change its fear-driven asylum policy.
A Norwegian hiker found a 1,300-year-old Viking sword. The man was sitting down to rest after going fishing.
An Italian mayor is subsidizing gun sales. He’d rather have “cemeteries full of criminals” than see them get away with crime.
Robert Mugabe won a peace prize. China has a history of offering its Confucius peace prize to unsavory strongmen.
Visible food in your kitchen predicts your weight. Women who had breakfast cereal in plain sight were 20 pounds heavier than average.
Police found a cupcake burglar covered in frosting. The “highly intoxicated” woman was arrested for breaking and entering.
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