1. Markets. US stocks had their biggest day since March 1 while European markets were closed, despite poor retail sales and CPI data. Earnings have just started coming in – we’ve got details on United Airlines and Netflix below. China nailed its 6.9% GDP growth, but iron ore is dying a quick death. It’s down to $66.25 per tonne with some experts calling for $30 by year’s end. Ouch. June Futures are down 15 points and the Aussie dollar is grinding higher.
2. There was a lot of talk about Telstra’s share price plummeting last week after TPG won the 700MHz band in a spectrum auction. While that will make TPG Australia’s fourth major player, this founder of an independant telco says it’s not Telstra that should be worried, it’s Vodafone that will most take the mortal hit.
3. United Airlines could have gotten into hot water again, but didn’t. It looks like a bride and groom removed from a UA flight were booted because they tried to blag better seats, then refused to move when asked. United reported first quarter earnings this morning that topped forecasts, but any damage from the Dr Dao incident won’t be seen until next quarter’s call. (Keeping in mind UA stock fell just 2.6% after a 12-month, 21% rally.)
4. Matthew DeBord remembers watching his frequent flyer dad whip in and out of the Olden Days airport in 15 minutes, smoke on the plane and always enjoy a decent dinner, all while flying in the cheap seats. But while Matthew himself has flown for 40 years, it’s always been a terrible experience. Here’s why air travel has become so sucky, but there are a couple of exceptions to look out for.
5. Netflix missed on its subscriber growth, big time. Stock was down around 4% but the streaming giant is confident Q2 will see it deliver better results than Wall Street expects. At the box office, “The Fate of the Furious” had the biggest global box office opening weekend ever, taking $US532.5 million. Huh.
6. And in case you missed it while scoffing chocolate, the first trailer for “The Last Jedi” dropped on the weekend. Here’s what the director says about whether “the last Jedi” is plural or not and this is how Mark Hamill would have preferred to have seen Han Solo die. And see if you can spot the tiny figure some lunatics are saying is Yoda:
7. On the topic of lunatics, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un is one nuclear test away from being met with a “significant international response”. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US President won’t “telegraph” his plan for a response, so expect it, well, any time. But a former defence secretary said while North Korea is evil, it’s not crazy.
8. Back in Washington, the Trumps were hosting their first, and 139th, annual Easter Egg Roll. That entails 21,000 guests on the South Lawn of the White House and 18,000 wooden eggs, and political people being humans:
9. Things are heating up in Europe, too. Turkey, NATO’s second-strongest military partner, just took a step towards one-man rule. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan narrowly won a referendum which gives him sole control over senior appointments and exclusive control of Turkey’s armed forces. A good time, then, to take a look at the seven most elite special forces in the world and see who comes out on top.
10. We now have clothes dryers that can dry clothes in half the time, without heat, lint and shrinkage. But Science is holding onto the technology for a couple of years yet.
BONUS ITEM: The Kiwis are now sending All Blacks to the NBA:
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