What to watch for today
Malaysia’s embattled prime minister rolls the dice. Najib Razak—who has yet to adequately explain how or why large sums of money from a state development fund ended up in his personal bank accounts—is due to propose a 2016 budget to the country’s parliament. If lawmakers reject the plan, he will have to step down.
David Cameron woos China. The UK prime minister will try to attract Chinese investment to Manchester with tax breaks as he unveils a new real-estate development called the “China Zone.” The announcement coincides with his trip to northern England with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Ukraine talks business in Berlin. Chancellor Angela Merkel and prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk will convene at an economic conference. Merkel has said Germany is ready to invest in Ukraine, but only if the country weeds out corruption and reduces the influence of its powerful oligarchs.
Earnings season continues: American Airlines, Procter & Gamble, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Thomson Reuters, Whirlpool, and Volvo AB all open their books.
While you were sleeping
Amazon and Alphabet beat expectations. Amazon posted a 17 cent per share profit on revenues of $25.36 billion, easily outpacing projections, based in part on the strong performance of its cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services. Alphabet, the newly formed parent company of Google, also outpaced expectations thanks to higher YouTube and mobile ad sales. Both companies shares’ rose about 10% in after-market trading.
The Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal continued. VW said another line of diesel engines may have also used software to cheat on emissions tests, potentially affecting millions of additional vehicles. Details are still emerging, but it looks likely that it will get worse for the automaker before it gets better.
McDonald’s is lovin’ it. Shares rose 7% to an all-time high (paywall) after the fast-food giant reported higher-than-expected third quarter profit, revenue, and same-store sales figures. The company’s comeback efforts have focused on better ingredients and new menu options like all-day breakfast.
United Auto Workers approved a new contract with Fiat. The contract will raise all employees’ wages to the same rate over the next eight years, eliminating the two-tiered pay system that has been in place since 2007. The UAW hopes to use the contract as a template for talks with Ford and General Motors.
US and Kurdish forces raided an ISIL prison. An American special forces operative died as commandos freed 70 prisoners from an Islamic State prison in Iraq. The unnamed special forces soldier was the first US fatality in Iraq since 2011, and also the first since US operations against ISIL began in September.
Quartz obsession interlude
Hanna Kozlowska on why Poland’s refugee crisis isn’t what it appears. “No one in Poland is struggling with an influx of people from the Middle East and Africa—but the country has a refugee problem. And the problem is a horrifying display of xenophobia and historical amnesia, demonstrated in the country’s parliament, at dinner parties, on the streets, and, overwhelmingly, on the internet.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Ad-blockers will be the death of clickbait and listicles. They might spell the end of media companies, too.
Young Americans are unhappy because they’re delusional. They think too highly of themselves and expect too much from others.
Let hackers tinker with cars. It will ultimately make automotive software safer.
The UK is too eager to please China. The cautious American approach is smarter.
The world should “just say no” to Facebook’s Internet.org. Give the poor full access to the world wide web, says the man who invented it.
It takes about 12 minutes to properly boil an egg. The process starts and ends with boiling water, but the egg needs an icy cooldown in between.
James Bond’s nemesis is a great investment. SPECTRE would have produced annualized returns of 119%.
European astronomers have found two “kissing” stars. The “honeymoon period” is destined to end in catastrophe.
Syrian refugees are forging an unlikely path to Europe. They’re riding bicycles across the Arctic Circle.
A rare “wicked” Bible is up for auction. The 1631 edition contains an unholy misprint.
Mountain Dew was created as a whiskey chaser. The citrusy soda’s original cartoon mascot was “Willy the Hillbilly.”