10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Waaait a minute…. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning. It’s pre-Australia Day, and we all know what that means.

1. But for those few healthy ones left standing among us, the markets could be kind today. March SPI 200 futures contract indicate the ASX 200 should open 1.1% – 55 points – higher. Oil finished the week 20% up off lows and copper’s pushing back. And the Aussie dollar is back to 70c, so go on, make some hay – days when all the lights are green are a bit of a rare commodity right now.

2. But if you’re not into volatility, best get out now, says Todd Hawthorne, the lead portfolio manager at Boston Partners, because it’s the new norm. The difficult part of all that is, it shouldn’t be. There’s a lot of talk at Davos about all this unecessary “violence” when, as Myles Udland puts it, the economic fundamentals simply do not signal a recession with such certainty.

3. So, to the very unproductive week ahead.We’ve got NAB’s business survey today (when everyone’s chucked a sickie) and Australia’s headline CPI Wednesday (when everyone’s got a hangover). Best to go offshore for anything that smells like market-moving, but even China’s light on for data. Thursday’s a biggie, with a New Zealand rates call and a FOMC meeting in the US. It’s all right here, in Greg McKenna’s shiny new format.

4. The iPhone 7 will be absolutely huge. Not as in physically huge, although that is certainly likely, but huge for Apple. Its stock has declined 25% since May 2015 and analysts are now saying iPhone sales will continue to decline even after the iPhone 7 launch later this year. But Jim Edwards reckons these three “distinctive physical changes” to the iPhone 7 will make it as much a must-have accessory as the first one. So yeah, don’t rush out and buy the tiny 5se Apple blogger One More Thing may or may not have leaked a pic of.

5. America, you’ve changed. A cop got called in to bust up a noisy street basketball game and no one got shot. Instead, this happened:


Huh.

6. It’s snowing in New York, which is not unusual, as it is winter there right now. But a crazy blizzard on the weekend has jumped up the rankings to be ‘one of the five worst storms’ to ever hit New York. Here are the pics to prove it.

7. It’s 2016 and you need a new telly. Luckily, it’s a great time to buy one, especially with the ultra-HD 4K down to reasonable levels. But with so many new brands and specs, you’ll need our guide to getting the one that’s right for you, including that insane $40,000 LG job hypnotising all the husbands walking through Harvey Norman right now.

8. For some reason, we’re obsessed with living longer, way past the age where we can still eat food and visit the toilet with dignity. But if you insist, there are places in the world where people just won’t give up. They’re called “blue zones” and Dan Buettner’s been studying them. Here’s what he found about how oldies do things differently there, and live longer.

9. Clive Palmer’s repeatedly assured voters in his electorate of Fairfax that he’s not actively responsible in a company. But The Australian reckons there might be a link between Palmer and a guy who’s been signing off on purchases for his company Queensland Nickel by the name of Terry Smith. Send a request to Terry email address for some “bulk liquid argon gas” and you might get the OK from Terry’s email address, but signed “Clive”. Here’s Palmer’s reply to The Australian‘s request for a please explain:

Australian great for fish and chips hopeless for news get one free at any airport no comment on Rupert mass sacking no profit in Australia just 50 years of losses (sic).

Indeed.

10. The best batsman on the planet right now? He might not be No 1 in the any of the rankings, but Usman Khawaja’s 70 perfect runs bookended a perfect season last night, guiding Sydney Thunder from four years at the bottom of the BBL ladder to a title over Melbourne Stars. He opened the international season with 174 against the Kiwis, and in nine innings, has scored five centuries, three half-centuries and an unbeaten nine.

BONUS ITEM: Don’t spend Australia Day on the leaf blower. Get some beers in and get your kid to do it:

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