1. Markets are doing nothing as we wait for a few big events over the next 48 hours: specifically, Australian inflation data tomorrow and, at a global level, the interest rate decision from the US Federal Reserve. US stocks went nowhere (although the Nasdaq hit another record high); the Australian dollar’s in a holding pattern, iron ore is edging up.
2. One seemingly relentless but quiet trend is the weakening of the US dollar. This is supporting the Australian dollar of course and a lot of it is being driven by the political uncertainty in D.C. The thing is, it also supports American company earnings. Look:
3. It may have helped Alphabet, Google’s parent company, which just posted a $US26 billion revenue quarter, slightly ahead of consensus expectations. The stock, which has been edging towards $US1000 a share, sold off around 3%, with one analyst saying it may be due to parts of the market looking for even more of a beat.
4. Online mortgage marketplace HashChing has an interesting new investor and board member: Commsec founder Paul Rickard. He has tipped in as part of the fintech company’s current $6 million capital raising.
5. The US military says it has killed between 60,000 and 70,000 ISIS fighters now. The update to the body count — a number which some military planners think shouldn’t be released at all — comes after an “annihilation campaign” kicked in under the Trump administration at the start of the year.
6. Amazon bets on the farm. The tech giant has revealed it is working with British think tanks to explore how it can help rural towns and farming communities get the most out of the digital age. A report is expected by the end of the year.
7. The future of policing is in little self-driving cars like this. Dubai is hoping that these units, fitted with 360-degree cameras and carrying an aerial drone that can be easily deployed to help hunt down criminals on the run, will make up 25% of its police force in just over a decade. They’re planning to deploy the first in a matter of months.
8. We’ve got a release date for the next James Bond movie: November 2019. It’ll be the same writers involved with “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall” and “Spectre”, but there’s no word yet on if Daniel Craig will return to the starring role which he once promised never to reprise. But surely, if they’ve got a release date…
9. “Brosectomies” are a thing now. Groups of guys go to a urologists facility near Washington D.C. where they get the snip and then have a few beers and watch a game with their mates. Details.
10. Michael Phelps didn’t really race against a great white, and some people seem surprised and disappointed to find out that he did not in fact do something that would have been insanely dangerous. He lost the “race”, but never really stood a chance anyway.
BONUS ITEM: Here’s video of a MiG-29 racing an F1 car. You’re welcome!
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