Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
Apple Buys Beats To Save Music. Apple’s $US3 billion purchase of Beats is official. What really drove the deal was not simply flagging iTunes sales, but flagging music sales across the board, BI’s Nicholas Carlson says. Apple’s Eddy Cue “said Apple bought Beats because ‘music is dying. It hasn’t been growing.’ He said combining the two companies will help it grow again.Cue said that the number of new releases on iTunes this past year are the smallest the company has ever seen, and that the growth in the number of songs sold through iTunes has ‘leveled off.’
Rising Births, Record-Low Fertility. The number of U.S. births climbed a fraction — to 3,957,577, up 4,736 from 2010 — for the first YOY increase since 2007, the CDC said. But the fertility rate of 62.9 births per 1,000 women was a new all-time low.
Microsoft-Salesforce.com Deal. Bloomberg said the two firms are close to an agreement that would allow Microsoft’s cloud computing service to use Salesforce’s customer management program.
Costco Sales Climb. Costco sales grew 6% in Q1 despite the harsh winter, although earnings missed expectations due to costs.
Global Stocks Hit All-Time High. The MSCI All-Country World index hit an all-time high Wednesday on talk the ECB would lower rates. It has gained 1.6% per cent since May 8, when the ECB met last.
Australia Capex Outlook Looks Good. The Australian strengthened against the dollar, and Aussie stocks were higher, after a new report shows planned spending for 2014/15 in non-mining investment would accelerate, and mining investment fell off less than expected, the FT said. “[Reserve Bank of Australia] officials consistently have communicated that this rotation in investment in the wake of the peak in the mining capex boom was on track,” JP Morgan commented. “Now, they have decent evidence to support their contention, which had for a while sounded more hopeful than emphatic.”
States’ Zero Emission Vehicles Plan. Eight states including California and New York will announce today plans to spur sales of 3.3 million “zero emission vehicles” by 2025 through a combination of consumer incentives and regulatory action, the Wall Street Journal said. This is despite the fact that, as Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas observed yesterday, sales in electric vehicles have been massively disappointing.
GDP And Jobless Claims. At 8:30 a.m. we get both jobless, which analysts expect to come in at 317,000 vs 326,000 prior; and the final reading for Q1 GDP, which is expected to have dipped into negative territory at -0.5%.
Pending Home Sales. At 10 a.m. we get pending home sales data. Consensus is for a 1% gain, down a bit from the 3.4% rate last month.
Markets. U.S. futures are higher. Stocks in Asia and Europe were mostly lower.
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