Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—HP and Target results, Trump wins again, Frank Underwood portraits

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What to watch for today

Another economic rollercoaster.  The British pound fell through the $1.40 mark on Brexit fears—HSBC warned that it could lose 15% of its value if the UK left the EU—and European stocks started the day down after mining companies dragged Asian stocks lower.

A look at the US economy. Markit’s purchasing manager’s index showed growth in services and manufacturing fell to a multi-year low in January; today’s preliminary report for February is expected to be slightly higher.

Low expectations for HP’s first quarter. The company that houses Hewlett Packard’s PC and printer units isn’t likely to publish stellar earnings, but analysts will want to know how it plans to deal with slowing demand for personal computers.

Earnings du jour. Lowe’s, a major US home improvement retailer, is expected to report healthy quarterly sales thanks in part to a stronger housing market. Analysts are bracing for disappointment from Target after a prolonged restructuring. Chesapeake Energy and Salesforce also report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Donald Trump won the Nevada caucus. The controversial right-wing billionaire took 44.6% of the vote, earning him his third win, despite reports of voter fraud. Read Trump’s acceptance speech—a complete joy or simply terrifying, depending on your persuasion—here.

Ramón Castro died. The elder brother of the revolutionary Cuban siblings Fidel and Raúl acted mostly as an advisor to the government’s agriculture operations, and preferred farming to political life. Nicknamed “Mongo,” Ramón was 91.

China deployed fighter jets to contested waters. They went to the same island that China sent missiles to last week. The timing has added yet more tension to a Washington meeting between China’s foreign minister and the US secretary of state.

Airbus reported a 10% drop in profit. Fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax was €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) due to increased spending on development. The European plane maker’s full-year profit missed expectations for the same reason, but Airbus forecast a “stable” year ahead.

Hong Kong unveiled its budget. Income taxes were cut and social security spending was increased, after the government recorded a surplus of HK$30 billion ($3.9 billion) last year. Major investment in tech startups was also touted as a counter to a slowing China.

Bolivia voted against a fourth presidential term. A referendum found 51.5% of voters chose not to allow president Evo Morales to run again. The still-popular Morales said he would respect the decision.

Quartz obsession interlude

Deena Shanker on the unhealthy link between meat and masculinity. “The connection between manliness and meat-eating shows up everywhere in contemporary culture: in Carl’s Jr. commercials featuring a swimsuit-clad Paris Hilton, selling sex and burgers all in one go; in the pages of Men’s Health magazine; and in teasing depictions of Ron Swanson, that paragon of mustachioed masculinity, downing endless amounts of ribs, steak, bacon, and something called a meat tornado.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Anti-Brexit campaigners need to remember just five things. Including highlighting the dangers of leaving and avoiding scaremongering.

Streaming video is a step backwards for diversity. It is lagging behind TV when it comes to racial and gender parity.

Negative interest rates are not hurting the global economy. Low government spending is.

Surprising discoveries

A woman’s plastic surgery turned her into a kleptomaniac. A lack of oxygen impaired the part of her brain that regulates impulses.

Cambodia spent $40,000 building a toilet. It was for a Thai princess’ two-hour trip—and it went unused.

Zimbabwe’s national parks have a surplus of lions. Hunting is way down after the death of Cecil.

An illicit 3D scan of the bust of Nefertiti has appeared online. The disputed Egyptian bust is strictly off-limits to photographers.

See Frank Underwood in the US National Portrait Gallery. A painting of the fictional House of Cards president currently hangs among real ones.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ancient statues, and unused toilets to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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