Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—AP’s Twitter hacked, Apple whiffs, and sequester signals likely

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What to watch for today

Is Germany joining the recession party? Germany’s Ifo Institute gives its latest read on the German business climate. Yesterday, Markit Economics said that Germany’s composite PMI sank to 48.8, suggesting a decline in business activity—in both services and manufacturing—in the euro area’s strongest economy.

Aussie inflation not yet dangerous. Economists surveyed by AAP believe inflation rose to an annual rate of 2.7% in the first quarter of 2013, up from 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, but not enough to hinder further rate cuts by the country’s central bank.

Say hello to the sequester. Analysts polled by Factset expect durable goods orders in the US to fall 3.0% in March, after rising 5.6% in February. Most of that will probably be the impact of defense spending cuts: fewer orders for commercial jets and military equipment. Excluding transportation, economists project durable goods orders to rise 0.6%.

Massive day for earnings: Credit Suisse, Barclays, Daimler, Procter & Gamble,  Iberdrola, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing, Vale, Qualcomm, France Telecom, and Eli Lilly & Co. are all set to report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

A false AP tweet briefly crashed the market (which recovered). The Syrian Electronic Army is claiming responsibility for a cyberattack that made a tweet appear on the Associated Press account saying there had been explosions at the White House and President Barack Obama had been injured. The Dow fell 144 points before bouncing quickly back as the hack was revealed. We wonder if this was a money-making scheme á la bitcoin.

Upstart chip maker kicked butt—again.  ARM Holdings, which makes the chips in most smartphones and tablets, reported that its revenue rose 26% year-over-year, for a second estimate-topping quarter.

French parliament approved gay marriage bill. It became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Apple reported its first year-on-year profit decline since 2003, suggesting the company desperately needs a new hit device. A share buyback plan saved their share price from falling, however.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on the unofficial Apple store in Kabul, Afghanistan: “Where do people in Kabul go when they want to buy an iPhone? The same place as everybody else: an Apple Store. But one thing separates the Apple Store in, say, New York, from the one in Kabul: Apple either doesn’t know it exists, or doesn’t care.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The internet has to make a living. Bye bye, free stuff!

Goldman Sachs suggests you stop shorting gold. Time for a turnaround?

Criminals are better at customer service. And other surprises when you make Big Data handle human resources.

An African economic miracle? Almost every indicator in most African countries shows life getting better.

Bloomberg Black: could it disrupt the financial disrupters?

Surprising discoveries

Bill Gates’s handshake: weird or downright rude?

The answer to a lazy eye could be Tetris.

It’s OK to feel sorry for robots. Your brain can be tricked into thinking they have feelings.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Tetris hacks, and adorable robot pictures to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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