Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Zara looks good, SpaceX prepares for launch, McDonald’s beer

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

A big day for central banks. Markets will be watching closely as the US Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day rate-setting meeting, and the Bank of Japan begins its own. The Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged, while the BOJ is under pressure to do something to stem the strengthening yen.

Barack Obama meets the Dalai Lama. The US president has invited the Tibetan spiritual leader to the White House, and China is predictably annoyed. Beijing warned Washington to abide by its promises not to support “separatist activities.”

The latest SpaceX launch. Elon Musk’s company will launch two satellites to geosynchronous orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket, and attempt to make a fifth successful landing back on Earth. A livestream is available starting around 10:30am ET.

While you were sleeping

Hillary Clinton met with Bernie Sanders. After wrapping up the Democratic presidential race with a win in the District of Columbia primary, presumptive nominee Clinton met with her rival. Both described the meeting as “positive” and said they were committed to stopping likely Republican nominee Donald Trump.

An ASEAN-China meeting about the South China Sea ended with confusion. The group of southeast Asian countries appeared to agree on a strongly worded statement about tensions in the contested sea, but the text was not issued by ASEAN, but by Malaysia’s foreign ministry, which retracted it.

China was refused entry to the equity index club. Unexpectedly, MSCI said it wouldn’t include China’s domestic stocks in its emerging-markets index—linked to more than $1 trillion in assets—until the country improved access for foreign investors.

France’s prime minister appealed for an end to unrest. Manuel Valls said the government wasn’t going to back down on controversial labor reforms after a violent mass rally in Paris where 40 people were injured. The country, currently hosting the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, has been paralyzed by strikes for weeks.

Zara outshone H&M. Inditex, which owns fast-fashion chain Zara, saw its share price rise after it reported a 15% jump in first-quarter sales, thanks to its thriving online operations. The Spanish group outperformed Swedish rival H&M, which blamed chilly spring weather for May sales growth that came in below analyst expectations. 

Quartz obsession interlude

Michael Coren on the mega-deals in Silicon Valley’s future: “For those charged with corporate mergers and acquisitions, Silicon Valley is starting to look like a department store on the day after Christmas, offering bargains next to the stratospheric valuations seen in 2015.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

China’s counterfeit goods are better than the real thing. That’s according to Alibaba boss Jack Ma, who says his company is fighting fakes on its e-commerce sites.

The end of the written word is nigh. Facebook predicts that text will probably be overtaken by video on its platform in a few years.

ISIL is a marketing organization for malcontents. It’s become a franchised brand for hate.

Surprising discoveries

An avocado shortage is causing a Kiwi crime wave. High demand has led to a rise in thefts in New Zealand’s avocado orchards.

A 2,000-year-old lump of butter was found in an Irish bog. It might still be edible.

Starbucks is basically a bank. It has $1.2 billion stored in its app and on customer loyalty cards.

The Tate Modern’s new wing is so modern it only has one painting. The galleries are designed to show how art has become more “active” in the past century.

McDonald’s is giving out free beer in Austria. Six packs are on offer to help celebrate the European soccer championships. What could go wrong?

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, paleo butter, and cases of Golden Arches IPA to hi@qz.com. You can download our iPhone app or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.