What to watch for today
Another bomb from the Bank of Japan? After that $1.4 trillion stimulus shocker, observers are keen to see if any further monetary easing will be announced at the BoJ’s Friday meeting. Japanese media are reporting that it will raise its inflation forecast for fiscal year 2014-15 to 1.5% from 0.9%.
Spain turns away from austerity. After yesterday’s appalling unemployment figures, Spain is set to announce new growth-oriented targets.
Tesla will announce a new strategy. “Tesla owners will like this,” tweeted Tesla founder Elon Musk. No one seems to have any idea what he’s hinting at. The last time he promised exciting news it was a giant let-down.
More earnings: Alcatel Lucent, American Electric Power, Burger King, Chevron, Kia, Siemens, TransCanada, Union Steel, Weyerhaeuser, among others.
On Saturday, Iceland votes in a new parliament. Which in turn will decide on a new constitution and whether to join the EU.
While you were sleeping
Samsung made $7.9 billion in Q1. That’s down some $53 million from the previous quarter, the first quarterly decline in two years. Some fear the company is getting over-reliant on its mobile business. Samsung will release its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, this weekend despite some supply hiccups.
US alleges Syrian chemical weapon use. President Obama, who previously called chemical weapons a “red line” for the US to take action, said the Assad regime used the chemical agent sarin against rebels.
The Boston bombers’ carjacking victim was Chinese. An immigrant engineer named ”Danny” helped avert a possible attack against New York City.
Aviation sequester triage. US senators unanimously passed the wonderfully named ”Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” to—you guessed it!—reduce flight delays caused by air traffic controller furloughs.
The H7N9 bird flu comes from chickens. New research in The Lancet suggests that the flu is exclusively transmitted “poultry-to-human.”
Reportedly dead man invests in reportedly dying company. George Soros, reports of whose death last week were greatly exaggerated, has a 7.9% stake in faltering retailer JC Penney—probably not because he believes in it.
Searching for profits. Chinese internet giant Baidu’s first-quarter profits missed estimates due to tougher competition, higher costs, and lower ad revenue per customer. Its shares fell about 8% on the news.
Earnings and more earnings. Amazon, 3M, Dow, UPS, Exxon, and others collectively sent the S&P 500 to a near-record high.
Quartz obsession interlude
Matt Phillips on why Apple is the new Microsoft. Making the case, in chart form, that Apple’s stock may never regain the momentum it once had. Read more here.
Matters of debate
Are we too emotionally attached to the war against breast cancer? Screenings haven’t done much to help fight the disease and, in some cases, they are putting women at risk.
Do tips make up for a $2.13 hourly waitressing wage? Some US states seem to think so.
Big brands should stop tweeting during tragedies. Enough with the platitudes.
The end of the end of oil. New technologies mean we might never run out. But the energy transition has to happen anyway.
Triple your money with Google Search, by watching the volume of finance-related search trends.
Milk powder trumps heroin. Since a March 1 crackdown, Hong Kong has busted more people for smuggling powdered baby formula than the number of heroin busts in an entire year.
Even Wikipedia is sexist. Wikipedians insist on categorizing women writers as “women novelists,” and not just novelists.
This woman bought a print for £60… and now she owns a Banksy. Here’s her first-hand account of how it happened.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, JC Penney investing advice and street-art print tips to email@example.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.