What to watch for today
Dude, you’re getting Dell’s earnings. Expect a rough earnings call with disappointing income from the company’s faltering personal computer business. It’s no wonder that founder Michael Dell is willing to sell his stock at a discount as part of his plan to take the company private and reorganize it.
Europe’s parliament tries to fix carbon-credit glut. Representatives will vote on a plan to delay issuing any new carbon emissions permits. Prices had collapsed, rendering the permits somewhat useless as a way to limit emissions.
In Rio, a look at retail sales. Analysts hope that Brazilian consumer spending picked up in December, signaling a stronger year of growth ahead after the economy barely expanded 1% in 2012.
Also reporting earnings: Troubled book retailer/e-reader manufacturer Barnes & Noble, French food conglomerate Danone, Spanish construction giant Ferrovial, and hoteliers Marriott International.
While you were sleeping
President Hugo Chávez returned to Venezuela. The ill president arrived in Caracas after ten weeks of treatment in Cuba, but the state of his health, and his regime, remain unclear.
Rival unions clashed in South Africa. Rubber bullets flew after a violent confrontation between the miners’ labor union and a new, more militant trade organization. The conflict raised the specter of last year’s violent strikes against mining companies just as they prepare to renegotiate wages.
Mexico is the new (old) Brazil. The country’s GDP grew 3.9% in 2012, beating expectations and exceeding that of Brazil, formerly the darling of South American economies, for a third straight year.
British PM woos Indian business with visas. In Mumbai, David Cameron announced easier visa rules for Indian students and investors, as Britain begs its former colonial vassal for trade and business opportunities.
Burger King got hacked. The fast food chain’s Twitter account was compromised by hackers who turned it into a McDonald’s ad and posted raucous tweets and pictures. On the bright side, curious gawkers increased the company’s Twitter following by 30%.
China’s largest property developer is investing in America. China Vanke is taking a 70% stake in a residential real-estate project in San Francisco, with the company’s chairman telling his internet followers: ”there is no point telling Chinese companies to mind their own domestic business.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Lily Kuo on the diamond industry’s troubled present and hopes for a sparkling future. “Since De Beers first started marketing diamonds in China in 1994, when few people were wealthy enough to afford them, they have become almost as much of a mainstay in marriages as they are in the United States. Four out of five couples in Beijing and Shanghai splurged on diamond engagement rings in 2012. In 2011, China became the world’s second-biggest consumer of diamonds after the United States and some predict the country will pass the US market in 2016.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Obama’s plan to eradicate global poverty is within reach. It’s precisely as far away as the moon.
Everything you know about 3-D printing is wrong. Maybe not everything, but it’s still more complicated than you think.
The other 99%: Yes, you can succeed with an MBA from a program that’s not in the top five.
“I still do not believe that the Chinese ‘recovery’ is for real.” Questioning the sustainability of China’s credit-driven growth.
China has more smartphones and tablets than the United States. But they’re buying them faster in Colombia.
A Chinese government official was offered 200,000 yuan (about $32,000) to swim in a river. The only catch? The river looks like this.
A plagiarism scandal rocks Europe’s premiere song contest. Did Germany’s Eurovision entrants rip off last year’s winning tune?
Russian businessman’s body found in a barrel of cement. Yes, they still settle scores the old way.
George Soros made $1 billion in three months betting Japan’s currency would tumble. Not necessarily surprising, but still.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, diamonds, river-swimming challenges and moon-shot plans to email@example.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.