Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday. Let’s start with something a bit off the beaten track…
1. Taylor Swift wrote a great op-ed for the WSJ, in which she shared some fascinating insights into the business of the modern entertainment world. She recounts how an actress recently told her she lost a role to a competitor who had more Twitter followers, says she hasn’t been asked for an autograph since the iPhone got a front-facing camera for selfies, and expects that “artists will get record deals because they have fans — not the other way around”. More here.
2. Markets fell in the US trading session, with the Dow off 0.3% but staying above the 17,000 mark; the S&P 500 was down 0.4% while the Nasdaq was down 0.8% in an ugly day for momentum stocks – something which could spill over into the tech and biotech sectors in the Asian trading day. The Nikkei was off almost 0.4% yesterday while Shanghai was flat.
3. In Australia, the big release of the day is the NAB business survey, which will give an indication on whether there was a flow-through effect on business from the drop in consumer sentiment that followed the federal budget. “Although Australian businesses judge conditions to be a bit below average, they are more optimistic about future prospects – that is unlikely to have changed much in June,” wrote Soc Gen in its Asia morning call note today, “though given the rising exchange rate, the risks are probably to the downside.”
4. Neoguri bears down. The Super Typhoon heading for Japan, described as a “once in decades storm”, is expected to hit Okinawa today and could develop into a category 5 storm. Its projected track has it expected to split right across Japan starting from the southwest, and tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, who will sign the free trade deal with Australia in Canberra today, will be watching closely.
5. A dramatic late-night ruling by Australia’s High Court last night put a halt to the Australian Navy’s planned handover of a group of 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to the Sri Lankan military. The injunction followed a similar handover by Australian border protection authorities of 41 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers subject to a new “fast-track” processing system. Human rights advocates have been questioning whether this controversial practice meets Australia’s international obligations.
6. Indonesia is tense ahead of the presidential election tomorrow, with policy and the army stepping up their preparations for potential stand-offs on polling day. More than 30,000 troops are being deployed on security operations. There have been threats from separatists in Papua against participation in the vote, as well as reports of potential attacks on polling stations. The early favourite, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, is considered more friendly to commerce than his opponent Prabowo Subianto, so investors will be watching the result closely.
7. How good are the great investors? Wall St folks were passing around this chart overnight showing the success of the great investors from David Einhorn to George Soros and Warren Buffett, when compared to the average return of the S&P 500 over time.
8. The physics of bulls and bears. Ever wonder why bulls and bears in the market are so called? According to Scottrade, the names come from each animal’s method of attack. If a bull is coming at you, it’s launching you into the air. When you’re being attacked by a bear, it’s standing over you, striking down.
9. Samsung raid. A gang of about 20 criminals disguised as Samsung employees but carrying automatic weapons have raided one of the Korean electronic giant’s factories in Brazil, making off with about $US36 million worth of tablets, notebooks, and smartphones.
10. McDonald’s never rots. A US news editor decided to test the age-old experiment for himself and stashed a burger and pie in his desk for five years. Result? Less desk visits from colleagues, most likely. But also a perfectly formed bun, burger and pie that looks as edible as it ever did, if it ever did.
Note: Before you sgare it madly on Facebook, most burgers would survive the five-year test, McDonald’s or otherwise.
Bonus item: There’s some quality newspaper trash talk in The New York Post over a cover price increase by its rival, The New York Daily News. “Stacks of the Daily News collected dust on the newsstands Monday as the paper better used as fish wrap than for information socked its readers with an ambitious price hike to $1.25,” a report in the Post said, saying readers saw the new price as “a hefty sum to sift through half-baked “exclusives” and so-called investigations.” The story goes on and on.
Have a cracker day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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