Good morning! It’s Friday, you made it.
1. Scotland has voted. The newspaper front pages, as you’d expect, were beautiful. The count is on. The Business Insider teams in London and New York are all over this today so there’s live coverage on the site through to tonight. A YouGov exit poll says it’s a No 54-46 – and we’ll have results through the day. Join us!
2. The Pound goes wild. The polls might have only closed a couple of hours ago but Forex traders voted early. They think the No case is going to win, driving the pound sharply higher and up through a 2-month downtrend overnight. Against the USD dollar the pound is up almost 3 cents from the lows earlier this week – so it remains vulnerable if the Yes vote gets up, as are all other markets which look like they agree with Forex traders. Look at Cable go:
3. To the markets, and a day after the FOMC statement, stocks in the US rose to fresh all-time highs. Mixed data reinforced the hope that the FOMC will be in no hurry to raise rates. At the close, the Dow was up 109 points to 17,266 for a gain of 0.64%. The Nasdaq rose 0.68% to 4,593 and the S&P rose another 9 points or 0.47% to 2011. The better mood has Australian stocks set for a solid open to build on yesterday’s positive close. December SPI 200 futures rose 27 points overnight but weakness once again in iron ore futures mean it’s unlikely to be all plain sailing today.
4. Terror targets. Australians have a lot to think about after it emerged yesterday that a senior ISIS leader – a former Kings Cross bouncer from Sydney – was urging locals back in Sydney to carry out a what the PM called a “demonstration killing”. It has emerged that Parliament House in Canberra was a potential target of an attack. The language from political leaders has been remarkably consistent – from the PM to state premiers, everyone is repeatedly stating that this isn’t a problem with a religion, but a problem with criminals. But this will be tested in the coming days, with talk of protests from Australia’s Islamic community over the police action.
4. Larry Ellison is resigning. Silicon Valley’s longest-serving CEO is quitting after another miss on earnings for Oracle. His replacement is Safra Catz, who was Oracle CFO, and now becomes the highest-paid female executive in the world.
5. SAP just bought Concur and is now the world’s second-biggest cloud company. The deal is worth $US8.3 billion and SAP will have 50 million users in the cloud as a result.
6. Bank break-ups. The debate is raging about the best way to improve bank competition in Australia. Last night, David Walton, a former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, said the majors should be broken up. Add in the stunning intervention this week by APRA who want to shake up the way the major banks report their capital position through the reporting of a leverage ratio, and we’re looking at more potentially big shifts for Australian banks. Can anyone remember how much of the Australian stock market these guys account for?
7. How to present like a boss. Open your chest and arms, and remember that small, stiff gestures display authority. We’ve got a great round-up of body language tips for presenting here.
8. Our first look up-close at a comet. As we’ve mentioned before here, the European Space Agency is about to have a crack at landing a probe on a comet. There are new pictures in from the Rosetta probe, which is looking for a landing site, and taking its best photos yet of the surface of the comet. It’s mind-blowing.
10. It’s about Buddy time. The Swans have been roundly booed by opposition fans all year who think that by buying Buddy Franklin, they’re buying a premiership. That’s a pretty big dismissal of the work done by the team’s ability to develop juniors into elite players, but regardless, the pressure is on Franklin to deliver about $900,000 worth of goals in tonight’s match against the Kangaroos. A win for the Swans would see them play either Hawthorn or Port Adelaide for the big one next week. Either way, there’s three massive, unmissable games of AFL left for the year.
Bonus item: While we’re on sport, check out this simply stunning step and dummy from a player at Arkansas State University, no less. By my count the dummy pass takes out four defenders. Easy handover for the try. Michael Cheika, take note.
Have a great weekend. Enjoy the count, drink some Scotch. And go Swans. I’m on Twitter: @colgo