1. First, news just in from the BBC:
Ahmen Khawaja, a broadcast journalist, is in a bit of trouble after sending that out overnight. But she’d just got too excited after overhearing other BBC staff rehearsing what they’ll do when the day comes. Worse, the Queen actually was in hospital for her annual checkup at the time. Oof.
2. On the local market yesterday it was another day of selling and the ASX200 is back down testing important technical support. Traders will be watching the 5,575 level and then the 5,545/55 region. If the latter gives way the outlook would turn very bearish. It has to break first though. Time will tell.
3. The big data release today is Australian retail sales figures for April. The market expects total retail sales to increase by a modest 0.4%. That’s slower than that seen throughout much of 2014, but in dollar terms, turnover rose to $24.12 billion in March, a record high. And we’re looking at a 10-month stretch of growth, the longest since March 2007. Here’s David Scutt’s complete preview.
4. Suddenly, Facebook is matching YouTube for daily video views. Fortune reports the extraordinary stat that:
In April, Facebook hit 4 billion views per day, matching the latest estimates available for 10-year-old YouTube.
And it’s not just sharing vids from other sites, not by a long shot. Fortune claims 70% of Facebook videos were uploaded directly in February. So, yeah, it looks like Google’s on the verge of blowing another big asset.
5. At Barclays on Wall Street, new interns just started their 9-week trial by fire. So some banker just thought it might be a good idea to declare and send them all these 10 commandments for Wall Street interns. As they go viral, Barclays has been quick to tell the Wall Street Journal the email “was in no way authorised” by the firm and the author can’t be contacted…
6. DARPA’s robotic cheetah can run faster than Usain Bolt. Now it can jump hurdles as it relentlessly pursues you in a dystopian future.
7. Warren Buffett is no longer the second-richest man in the world. Amancio Ortega made $US10.4 billion last year and is closing in on Bill Gates. “Amancio who?”, you might say. If you don’t shop at Zara, which he owns, as well as a couple of other retail outlets. The 79-year-old Spaniard flies under the radar because he’s down to earth, eats in the cafeteria with his employees and has only given three interviews. Here’s what we know of his amazing life.
8. Australian bonds are getting hammered and nobody cares. But they should, because while the RBA might anchor the short end of the interest rate curve by setting its cash rate target, longer rates are where the government and companies borrow to invest. And like in the US and Germany recently, Australian 10-year government bonds are heading skyward and are about to break a one-yeard downtrend. Here’s why that’s not good news.
9. Wall Street billionaire John Paulson was feeling generous and noting he had ooh, $400 million to give away, he chose… Harvard. It’s their largest gift ever, but with an already mammoth $US36.4 billion endowment at their disposal, it probably could have gone to a better cause. Like any of the number reeled off by Malcolm Gladwell on Twitter this morning, as he went postal on Paulson.
10. Floyd Mayweather may have chosen his next – and likely, last – opponent. Step up Brit champ Amir Khan, who’s confident his win over Chris Algieri has expedited negotiations with Camp Mayweather, which in turn seems happy with the prospect. “Amir Khan? Yes, that would be a good fight for him,” says Mayweather Snr. “My son needs to get his contract and end it with an easy fight.”
BONUS ITEM: Stephen Colbert shaved his Colbeard, hilarity ensues. Also, weird how Americans still have no qualms about mocking the Amish.
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