What to watch for today
How will stocks react today? With US stocks approaching a bear market, everyone wants to know if they have further to fall. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell by 5.6%, its worst day since 2013, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down by 2.9%. Stock markets in mainland China and Hong Kong were closed for Chinese New Year. European stocks have moved little so far.
Voters turn out for the New Hampshire primary in the US. Democratic senator Bernie Sanders has a significant lead over Hillary Clinton in the state polls, while Donald Trump continues to lead in the Republican race. Final results may not be confirmed until Wednesday morning, but, sadly, punditry will run all night.
Congress snubs Obama’s budget. Republican lawmakers will break with tradition and decline to hear a presentation of the White House’s 2017 budget proposal. The $4-trillion budget, which proposes spending and avoids cuts, arrives on the same day as the New Hampshire primaries.
A big day for earnings. Viacom posts results after a shakeup that replaced longtime chairman Sumner Redstone. Disney’s results should be stellar, but investors will look for plans regarding its struggling ESPN network. Coke is expected to take a hit over a global decline on soda sales.
While you were sleeping
A train crash in Germany killed at least eight. More than 100 have also been injured after two trains collided head-on in the state of Bavaria, about 60km (40 miles) from Munich. One train derailed and carriages overturned, trapping many more passengers inside; a rescue operation is underway.
A proposal to cut the aviation industry’s carbon footprint. The International Civil Aviation Organization suggested that all airplanes delivered after 2028 use 4% less fuel than they did in 2015. Green groups called the first-ever reduction target a missed opportunity.
Zenefits’ CEO stepped down over compliance issues. Parker Conrad, co-founder of the $4.5 billion human resources startup, left the company after it was alleged to have used unlicensed brokers to sell health insurance. Zenefits offers free HR services to small businesses but makes money by selling health insurance to its customers.
Taiwanese authorities arrested one over an earthquake tragedy. Lin Ming-hui, the developer of a residential tower that collapsed during tremors on Saturday (Feb. 6), was detained on suspicion of negligent homicide. At least 39 people died in one of the only buildings to collapse; part of its structure was reinforced by paint tins.
Kenya warned it could pull out of the Rio Olympics. The country’s Olympic committee said it would not “risk taking Kenyans there“ if the Zika virus reached epidemic status. Brazilian authorities said only pregnant women were at risk.
Quartz obsession interlude
Alex Haddon on American football’s injury crisis. “Hints of an American football decline—at least among young players—are dovetailing with growth elsewhere. In particular, participation in soccer across the US has grown 8% over the last five years. In 2014, over 3 million boys and girls were registered as part of the US Youth Soccer League, the largest member of the United States Soccer Federation.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Bernie Sanders is making voters feel poor. His presidential campaign inadvertently discourages people from voting by reminding them of their financial woes.
Hong Kong’s “fishball revolution” is about a lot more than just street food. The violence shows a mistrust about the direction Hong Kong is headed.
Donald Trump’s vulgar insult summarizes his entire campaign. Calling Ted Cruz a “pussy” also demonstrates why the billionaire will lose.
A German inventor with more patents than Thomas Edison has died. Among other things, he invented the synchronized flash (paywall).
The US is holding $4 billion of Bernie Madoff’s ill-gotten gains. Thousands of victims are still waiting for repayment.
Ocean acidification could leave fish… kinda drunk. Rising levels of carbon dioxide could dull their sense of direction.
Undiscovered species are hiding right under experts’ noses. Museums have closets and shelves full of likely candidates.
Millions of Americans have been incorrectly labeled “unhealthy.” The Body Mass Index is not an accurate measure of health.