10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Simples. Picture: Marvel

Good morning. First, the markets, which were… touchy.

1. Walmart is buying back shares, but investors weren’t taking the bait and sent the price down 10%. So when CEO Doug McMillon was asked by CNBC to comment on the US economy, he shrugged and said, “It’s steady. It’s OK.” Ouch, and markets across the board backed him up with another night in the red. But after yesterday’s recovery off the lows, the December SPI 200 futures are largely unchanged this morning so we’re not feeling the chill here just yet. But the release of unemployment at 11.30am ADST is going to be a huge – here’s what to expect.

2. Gold went mental on US dollar weakness. Look:

That weakness also saw the Aussie dollar’s rally resume with a big move higher overnight. It’s up 0.83% and back above 73 cents this morning. That rally has been mirrored by the Canadian dollar while the Kiwi has fairly rocketed higher up 2% on the back of signs the RBNZ will only cut once more.

3. Top marks for YouTuber Allen Pan. He built a replica of Thor’s hammer Mjölnir that’s so exact only Pan can pick it up. Here’s one guy giving up:

Here’s Pan doing it easy:

And here’s how he did it.

4. Stay on top of all the small talk. We’ve cobbled together our annual revision of the 120 people in finance you absolutely have to follow if you want to stay bang-up-to-date. It’s a bit US-centric, but cash is universal, right? Besides, if you want some Aussies on your list, you could do a lot worse than starting right here:

But don’t expect much from this clown.

5. Messenger apps are more than just messenger apps. Today we take a look at Facebook Messenger, which separated from the main Facebook app last year and began building its own unique suite of features. Such as being able to make voice and video calls for free. And send money. We’ve got how to do that and all Messenger’s other secrets right here.

6. Chin up. You’ve no doubt been reading a lot of bad news about the Australian economy lately, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We just completed 25 years without recession, for starters. And while we might be growing below trend, we’re growing, and besides, what is “trend” exactly might need some rethinking. As you’ll see by flicking through these slides Greg McKenna’s knocked together, which show Australia’s… not terrible.

7. Long-haul flights don’t have to be awful. You just need to be able to fork out about $1000 per kilometre and you get to relax in a bigger seat with marginally better food. So here’s your 10 best choices if you’re up for it, including one that actually looks worthwhile, Etihad’s “The Residence”:

8. The Fat Duck has flown its Melbourne coop, but Heston Blumenthal won’t go away so easily. The famed chef’s second restaurant at Melbourne’s Crown Towers Hotel will open next Tuesday. It’s called “Dinner”, and you can book online here (from Tuesday), but don’t expect to be tucking into “meat fruit” until after Christmas.

9. VR, from the inside. The two biggest players, Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive, are just months away from shelves, so now’s a good time to look back on how far the biggest shift in 2016 has come since Oculus hit Kickstarter back in August 2012. In particular, what founding engineer Jack McCauley has been up to since leaving Oculus after Facebook bought it for a couple of billion, including tweeting intriguing things like this:

10. Are you the boss’s favourite? Go on – you know you are, and you secretly love it. But just to make sure, here’s 13 signs that prove you’re the bestest ever, including that one where you keep getting invited to accompany them on out of town trips.

BONUS ITEM: Headline of the day from HuffPo UK, which actually does what it says on the box. Read all about it here.

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