Good morning! It’s Friday, and here’s what you need to know…
1. A global market rally yesterday failed to follow through to the US session with Dow and the S&P only up 0.1% and the Nasdaq shedding the same amount. The ASX and the Nikkei roared yesterday, up 1.6% on the confluence of Janet Yellen’s reassurance that the Fed still has a dovish outlook, and for Australia a slight uptick in the iron ore price which appears to have hit at least a temporary floor. The Asian markets are already looking ahead to the HSBC manufacturing PMI coming out next week, expected to rise from 49.4 to 49.7 in June.
2. But the signs keep coming that the US recovery is gathering pace. The Philly Fed’s survey of business conditions came in stronger than expected overnight. As Joe Weisenthal notes, the good data from May is being followed by more in June, pointing to a potential above-trend return to growth that people have been craving for a long time – and critical for the overall picture on global confidence.
3. Budget bodyguards. You know the public is angry in Australia when cabinet ministers have to be assigned bodyguards. James Massola reports at the SMH that Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne are among the ministers who have had Close Personal Protection staff assigned to them because of the hostile crowds protesting against the budget at some recent events. More here.
4. Global financial negotiations. Wikileaks has released documents from the negotiations of the global “Trade in Services Agreements” which will have a significant impact on the future of the Australian financial industry. The draft conditions would give global banks much greater freedom to operate in Australia, but there are other provisions that would help Australian banks grow internationally too. There’s also a proposal from the US and the EU that would allow an outside authority to rule on decisions made here by ministers and the courts.
5. Pirate kings. It’s known that Australia is a problem country for content piracy but for the first time we’ve got a handle on the scale of the problem. As Ben Collins reports, almost three million Australians visited the top two illegal download websites – The Pirate Bay and Kickass torrent – last month, according to Nielsen data. That’s just the top two sites; there are many more, not to mention popular torrenting software like BitTorrent and uTorrent. With Nielsen estimating the online market at 17.3 million in Australia it’s clear this is not a fringe issue but an entirely mainstream phenomenon in the country.
6. The iWatch is coming. It’ll have a 2.5 inch screen, mass production will start in July, and they’re aiming to ship 50 million units in the first year. We’re not exactly sure of the features but the basics will include the ability to read notifications to your phone on the device as well as heart rate monitoring. The idea is that by gathering location, content, and biometric data the device will be able to figure out what you’re doing at the time. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear devices already have some of these basics in market. More here.
7. News Corp v Mail Online – iPad edition. The Australian’s media writer Darren Davidson has a most amusing account of an encounter (in Cannes, no less) with the publisher of the MailOnline in Australia, Martin Clarke. It’s about a serious matter, though: News Corp is threatening to sue the Mail for allegedly plagiarising large amounts of content from News Corp titles. Davidson reports that, after approaching the Mail executive with questions about the matter, Clarke took his iPad and walked off with it. An encounter ensued and there’s a transcript which includes Davidson saying, “Martin, why have you stolen my iPad?”, and “Okay, I’ve been physically assaulted again by a representative from the Mail Online.” Davidson also claims associates of Clarke poured beer over him. The full story’s at The Oz.
8. Here’s why you hate your job. The fact you don’t like your boss might be a given, and it’s way down this list which includes 16 other reasons why your commute seems filled with unhappy strangers. This Quora thread sounds depressing, but it’s actually a great self-evaluation tool that might be the kickstart you’ve been looking for.
9. England’s loss. Poor old England are on the verge of being knocked out of the World Cup after a 2-1 loss to Uruguay this morning, which featured two incredible misses from Wayne Rooney. They can still make it through to the next round – if Italy beat Costa Rica and Uruguay, and if England beat Costa Rica by at least two goals. Nate Silver gives it a 3.5% chance of happening.
10. Be a millionaire shouting at a screen. The world’s most popular YouTuber is Felix Kjellberg, the Swede better known as PewDiePie online (no, me neither). He makes a staggering $4 million a year from his YouTube channel, which is mainly him playing video games with some comedy commentary. Here’s a montage that gives a flavour of what he’s up to.
Have a smashing weekend. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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