Good morning! Let’s get started…
1. Markets are rallying around the world. The Dow and the S&P500 both gained 0.5%, while the Nasdaq was up 0.4% in the US session, helped along by a big surge in housing starts and inflation coming in dead in line with expectations. It’s follows another day of gains in Asia yesterday, with the Nikkei up 0.8%, the Hang Seng up 0.7% and Shanghai up 0.3%, as global markets shrug off some of the geopolitical concerns that flicked the switch to risk-off last week.
2. The exception today could be Australia, because the market didn’t like the BHP results released after the close. Although profit was a beat on expectations, there was no stock buyback. The company also announced its plans for spinning out some of the more complex parts of its business into a new company, as expected. Investors marked the Big Australian down 5% in London and because it makes up such a big portion of the Australian bourse, ASX futures are down slightly ahead of the start of today’s session. The market will be looking to the banks to carry the load today, but we also get results from some heavyweights including Fortescue, Wesfarmers and Woodside.
3. Buying the dip. Jeff Saut of US financial house Raymond James outlines the simple strategy pro traders are using to make money at the moment. When stocks fall, you buy – and they have been continually returning to make new highs over the last couple of years.
4. ISIS beheaded an American photojournalist. In a horrifying development, ISIS has released a video purportedly showing the beheading of James Foley of the Global Post, who went missing in Syria in 2012. The executioner had a British accent.
5. The Clive Palmer crisis. When senior Australian politicians are knocking on the door of the Chinese embassy to apologise for someone’s behaviour, it’s time to move them into the “national liability” column. Referring to the Chinese as “bastards” on national TV was bad enough and Palmer’s excuse that it was about the company he’s been dealing with (government-owned, of course) simply doesn’t wash. Jacqui Lambie’s calls yesterday for a doubling of defence spending to prevent an impending Chinese military invasion show that the Palmer United Party is not only reckless but stupid. And a reminder: the PUP is not popular – it has a few pockets of support in Queensland but only hold a few points in the primary vote nationally. Unfortunately, none of this changes Palmer’s hold on the balance of power in the Senate.
6. This might be our best look yet at the iPhone 6. If they’re real, it’s the first time we’ve seen the phone with all its parts assembled. More pictures here.
7. Google AdSense danger. Idris Sami had an app that allowed people to text their friends for free. It was running Google Ads and he was doing OK. Then one day he got an email saying he was in violation of Google’s AdSense policies – and the $46,000 that was in his account was all returned to advertisers. Similar incidents have led to lawsuits against Google in the US. But it’s a cautionary tale: you need to do AdSense by the book.
8. The Pope gives himself three years, tops. Since assuming the papacy lst year, the former Argentinian nightclub bouncer has been a wildly popular Pope, eschewing the traditional wealthy trappings and digs, sticking up for homosexuals (a bit) and publicly exorcising demons. Now he’s thinks he’ll be dead in “two to three years” and says he’ll abdicate rather than continue unfit for duty. He also admitted he hadn’t hadn’t a holiday out of Argentina since 1975.
9. The Australian flag might be about to change. And we might not even have a say in it, which is ironic given the various attempts we’ve had to force the issues ourselves. If Scotland votes for independence next month, there’s a case for dismantling the Union Jack, which takes elements of the Scottish, English and Irish national emblems.
10. Uber hires Obama’s former strategist. Anyone who’s used Uber’s on-demand ridesharing service knows that the future of traditional taxis is all but doomed. But it’s facing a long battle to wedge itself into the market against a powerful player, so who better to lead its policy and strategy division than Barack Obama’s campaign manager during the 2008 election, David Plouffe? Obama himself described Plouffe as the one “who never gets any credit, but has built the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States”.
Bonus item: The future of news! Digital news service NowThisNews is providing news updates by Snapchat, the app that shows you a photo for a few seconds before they disappear forever. Snapchat, you might remember, is now hotter than Twitter. The idea is it would at least prompt you to go look online for details of the story. But this is an example of the updates:
We’re all doomed.
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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