Good morning. Here’s your Wednesday head start.
1. Asian weakness yesterday should give way to strength today. Yesterday’s Chinese GDP print of 7.3% wasn’t too bad and slightly better than the market expected but Shanghai fell 0.71% in the end and the Nikkei dropped 2% after the head of the Pension Fund, which was supposed to be changing its asset allocation, said yesterday he didn’t know anything about the rumour. The Nikkei ended down 307 points to 14,804.
2. The Aussie has been unable to break up through the little downtrend line at the top of the wedge and it is back at 0.8781 this morning. Euro is lower at 1.2715 with one of the world’s best known, and well performed, hedge fund managers David Tepper saying the currency is headed lower. USDJPY is back at 107 after printing below 106.30 at one stage yesterday, while GBP is at 1.6109. On the data front, the release of Q3 CPI in Australia is the big release locally. Japanese trade data will be eyed during Asia also but then the focus becomes the BoE minutes and rate cut details.
3. The business that KISS built. Legendary bassist Gene Simmons has a new book out based on his approach to business, titled “Me, Inc.”, in which he shares the secrets of the band’s 40 years of success. Simmons estimates KISS’s worth to be between $US1 billion to $US5 billion and frontman Paul Stanley has been with him right from day one. The key, Simmons says, is honesty, particularly when it comes to evaluating each other’s roles.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just find a partner who brings something to the table and an expertise that you don’t have.
4. Marissa Mayer update. Yahoo’s CEO is forever under scrutiny, it seems. Today there’s questions being asked of her company’s $700m acquistion of video ad tech company BrightRoll. It’s tried to enter this space before, failing to buy Dailymotion and Twitch, and there’s no shortage of insiders ready to slam Mayer for they think is a rush job to enter the market. “Typical Yahoo deal,” one shareholder says. “Buy the also ran at double the price. Wish they bought Liverail.” Still, today’s earnings report will be some welcome relief, showing Mayer has stopped the bleeding… for now.
5. We’re losing our stalwart. Joe Weisenthal, executive editor of Business Insider, is leaving the company for “an offer that no journalist could pass up”. He’ll be hosting a TV show for Bloomberg and developing a news site about the markets. Weisenthal, aka @TheStalwart, has come a long way in the short six years since he joined BI as a junior writer but by far his biggest achievement was knocking over Rupert Murdoch, Ru Paul, Kobe Bryant and Judy Blume to win The Wire’s Best Twitter bracket. We wish him well.
6. What is in the Stockholm water? Swedish authorities have now had two more sightings of the mysterious vessel that has been spotted in the waters around its capital city. This makes five altogether now, and from what can be discerned it appears to be a small vessel possibly accompanied by divers. The incident comes amid the continuing concern about Russian activity around its neighbouring countries – Finland has been complaining about violations of its airspace.
7. The CEO of French giant oil giant Total was killed because a snow plow driver was drunk. Christophe de Margerie, affectionately known as “Big Mustache”, died when the Falcon 50 plane he was traveling in crashed on takeoff with a snow plow at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. All onboard were killed and the plow driver was seriously injured. Investigators admitted he’d been boozing.
8. The investment story of the day is the $US542 million raised by Magic Leap, which has been led by Google but also counts Andreessen Horowitz, KKR, Qualcomm and Ev Williams’ vehicle Obvious. Magic Leap is a mysterious company which, from what we can tell, is developing some kind of virtual reality technology – not using a headset like the Facebook-owned Oculus, but creating “3D light sculptures” instead. One CEO who’s seen it says: “It’s so badass you can’t believe it. It’s one of the few things I’ve ever experience in my life where I came out and said, ‘This changes everything’.” And they like to talk about how a world with dragons is just a better world. We’ll be following this one.
9. Facebook billionaire Sean Parker held a crazy $4.5 million wedding last year, in a magical forest complete with animal-skin chairs, silk flower petals, goats, and a pony. It also cost him an extra $2.5 million in fines because he failed to obtain the proper permits from the California Coastal Commission. That commission just keeps on rubbing its hands, because part of the settlement just revealed includes Parker building an app that will help people find and access public beaches in California. “An example of lemons turning to lemonade,” said a commission spokesperson.
10: A hoverboard that actually works. For seven minutes, noisily, on non-ferrous surfaces. But it’s a step closer to all your Marty McFly dreams becoming a reality, and if you chip in $700-odd dollars on the Hendo Hoverboard Kickstarter page, you can be an early adopter. If it’s a hoax, it will be an expensive one – it’s raised over $100K in its first few days.
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