#UBS struggles, #MacBook makeover, fossilized #dinosaur brains

Good morning, Quartz readers!


A Northern Ireland court rules on a challenge to the Brexit vote. Plaintiffs allege that the Northern Irish regional assemblyshould have had the chance to vote on the exit from the EU. The case is the first in a series of closely watched Brexit legal cases.

Trade and housing fuel US GDP growth. Analysts expect the economy to post third-quarter growth of 3% or more on stronger exports and consumer spending. That would be the strongest performance since 2014.

Pirates conquer Iceland. The Pirate Party, founded less than four years ago by a group of activists, anarchists, and hackers, is poised to upend Icelandic politics with an Oct. 29 general-election victory. It is led by Birgitta Jonsdottir, a former WikiLeaks contributor who describes herself as a “poetician.”


Look beyond IT. As digitization becomes a reality across industries, business leaders have the opportunity to partner with IT to transform their organizations by embracing digital disruption within all aspects of their business.


Diverging fortunes at Alphabet and Amazon. Google’s parent company beat revenue and profit expectations on the strength of its core search and YouTube businesses, sending shares up modestly. Amazon, on the other hand, fell short of what analysts were expecting, despite growth in its cloud computing unit, sending shares down 5%.

UBS reported a rough third quarter. The Swiss bank’s net profitfell 60% year-on-year, though the year-ago numbers were helped by a tax benefit. Still, the performance fell far short of expectations. The bank cited high regulatory costs and low transaction volumes caused by political uncertainty and concerns over global growth, and said it expects the tough conditions to continue.

MacBooks got a makeover. The new laptop line has an OLED touchscreen called “Touch bar,” which shows different buttons for different apps. Apple also announced a new app called “TV,” which aggregates shows and films from different streaming apps in one place.

A giant US newspaper merger hit the wall. Gannett’s deal to buy Tronc, which would unite papers including USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, was called into doubt after the banks financing the deal reportedly pulled out. Shares of each company plunged by as much as 30%.

Qualcomm announced the biggest-ever semiconductor acquisition. It’s buying Netherlands-based NXP as it seeks a foothold in making chips for the automotive industry. With mobile phone growth slowing, autonomous cars could be the next big source of tech industry growth. The transaction, including debt, is valued at $47 billion.


non-GAAP. Crafty accounting
Makes us LOL.


Chase Purdy on why farming is no longer “meaningful” work for US prison inmates. “Supporters of the program argued that work outdoors promoted the health and wellbeing of inmates, since many facilities lived largely off the food. But the programs lost favor as the agricultural industry consolidated and became more mechanized.” Read more here.


Search engines are distorting our perception, says Angela Merkel. The German chancellor says the lack of algorithm transparency is troubling.

Bitcoin is only good for one thing: getting money out of China.The cryptocurrency is a near-perfect proxy for capital outflow—and it’s surging.

Twitter needs a full-time CEO. Multitasking Jack Dorsey is not doing justice to a difficult job.


One day, one venue, one question, thirteen perspectives. One Question brings together creative and technical minds from leading organisations in Virtual Reality, Health Care, Automotive, finance, law, advertising, and Quartz’s very own Jamie Labate in London to debate one single question: “How do we successfully marry technology and humanity?” Be a part of One Question and register today.


The first-ever fossilized dinosaur brain turned up in England.Its existence is “so unbelievably unlikely that it just shouldn’t have happened.”

A new home-delivery meal kit service wants your blood. It analyzes nutrition-related biomarkers in the sample you send to customize dinner.

Colombia’s third-largest city is ditching “Dr.” and “Sir.” The mayor of Cali wants to close the gap between the poor and the rich by eliminating hierarchical titles.

Marijuana may help you see in the dark. New research suggests that it makes specialized cells in your retina more sensitive to light.

Uber is exploring the use of flying cars. It predicts that “vertical take-off and landing” vehicles “will be an affordable form of daily transportation for the masses.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, flying cars, and night-vision vaporizers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or downloadour iPhone app.

CWS Market Review – October 28, 2016

CWS Market Review

October 28, 2016
“They say you never go broke taking profits. No, you don’t. But neither do
you grow rich taking a four-point profit in a bull market.” – Jesse Livermore

This week’s CWS Market Review will be all about earnings. Nine of our 20 Buy List stocks reported earnings this week. Most were pretty good, but not all. In this week’s issue, I’ll discuss all of them. Plus, I’ll preview one more Buy List earnings report coming this week.

I also have several new Buy Below prices for you. Please note that many of the new Buy Below prices are downward adjustments. That doesn’t mean I’m any less confident about the stocks. It simply reflects each stock’s most recent price action.

Despite all the earnings news this week, the stock market as a whole has been fairly tame. We’ve now gone 12 straight days without a daily move of more than 0.62%. For 79 straight days, the S&P 500 has closed in the 2100s.

Earnings from Wabtec, Express Scripts and CR Bard

Before I get to this week’s earnings, I want to mention Microsoft (MSFT). Last week, the software giant reported very good earnings. On Friday, after the newsletter came out, the stock gapped up to $61 per share, which was an all-time high. This is a good example of a stock that was clearly a good buy, but the market wasn’t waking up to that fact. It takes time, but the market eventually sees the truth. Microsoft remains a buy up to $63 per share.

On Tuesday, three of our Buy List stocks reported earnings. Wabtec (WAB) was the first, and so far only, earnings miss. The rail-services company earned 94 cents per share, which was five cents below estimates.

Wabtec also lowered its full-year forecast again. The previous range was $4 to $4.20 per share. They now expect full-year earnings of $4 to $4.04 per share.

Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Our transit business continues to perform well, while the freight markets remain challenging due to overall rail-industry conditions and the sluggish global economy. We have continued to focus on controlling what we can by aggressively reducing costs, generating cash and investing in our growth opportunities, including acquisitions. At the same time, we are progressing toward completion of the Faiveley Transport acquisition and remain excited by its growth and improvement opportunities.”

The company’s freight group is struggling, and that’s largely behind the disappointing numbers. Still, their cash flow numbers are decent. On Wednesday, the DOJ said that Wabtec will have to divest Faiveley Transport North America’s entire U.S. freight-car brakes business in order to complete its buyout of Faiveley. That shouldn’t be a problem. WAB is a good company in a tough time for its business. This week, I’m lowering my Buy Below on Wabtec to $82 per share.

After Tuesday’s closing bell, Express Scripts (ESRX) reported Q3 earnings of $1.74 per share. That matched Wall Street’s estimate on the nose. The company had previously given us a range of $1.72 to $1.76 per share.

Now for guidance. Express narrowed its full-year range from $6.33 to $6.43 per share to $6.36 to $6.42 per share. That translates to Q4 earnings of $1.84 to $1.90 per share. Wall Street had been expecting $1.85 per share. Overall, this was a good quarter for ESRX.

“The healthcare industry demands that we stay ahead of future trends and deliver solutions to emerging issues facing today’s market,” said Tim Wentworth, CEO and President. “Doing so deepens the trusted relationships we have built with our clients, resulting in another strong year in terms of client retention and new sales.”

Express also narrowed its expected retention rate for next year from 96% to 98%, to 97% to 98%. It sounds minor, but it’s very good to see. The stock was largely unmoved by the earnings report.

For the most part, the company is doing well, but the stock has lagged this year. Express is also dealing with an unpleasant legal mess with Anthem. It’s too early to say how that will turn out, but I still like ESRX. I’m lowering our Buy Below on Express Scripts down to $74 per share.

I was on CNBC last week, and Brian Sullivan asked me what stock looked to beat earnings. I said I thought medical devices company CR Bard (BCR) was a top candidate to beat the Street. The company had given a range for Q3 of $2.51 to $2.55 per share. I said that was too low. I also said that Bard would guide higher for the rest of the year.

Bard reported on Tuesday, and it turns out, I was right. The company earned $2.64 per share for Q3. That’s up 16% from last year, and it easily topped Wall Street’s estimate of $2.56 per share.

Timothy M. Ring, chairman and chief executive officer, commented, “The results this quarter demonstrate the continued strength of the economic engine of our business. We continue to increase investments in geographies, products, platforms, and programs that we believe can drive revenue growth longer term. During this period of increased investment in 2016, we have also been able to deliver attractive bottom-line returns for shareholders. We have increased our full-year financial guidance every quarter this year, and we are doing so again today. We expect a strong finish to what has been a very strong year for us so far.”

Bard now expects full-year sales growth of 8% to 9%. Excluding currency, that’s 9% to 10%. I was also right on guidance. For earnings, Bard sees profits ranging between $10.23 and $10.28 per share. That’s an increase on the previous range of $10.10 to $10.20 per share. Wall Street had been expecting $10.17 per share.

Bard’s new range implies Q4 guidance of $2.70 to $2.75 per share. Wall Street had been expecting $2.74 per share. This was an excellent quarter for Bard.

With the stock action, I wasn’t quite so prescient. Bard did rise on Wednesday: at one point it was up 2.5%. But that didn’t last long. Soon enough, the shares drifted back to $210. I’m not worried at all about Bard, but I’m dropping my Buy Below to $217 per share.

Earnings from Fiserv and Biogen

On Wednesday, we got earnings from Biogen and Fiserv. I’m pleased to say that Biogen  (BIIB) creamed estimates. The biotech stock reported Q3 earnings of $5.19 per share. That beat the Street’s consensus by 22 cents per share.

All across the board, Biogen had a very good quarter. Last quarter, their star drug, Tecfidera, had sales growth of 10% to just over $1 billion.

Chief Executive George Scangos announced in July he would be leaving, allowing a new chief to lead the company as it works to reignite growth. The biotechnology giant has also drawn takeover interest from drug companies such as Merck Co. and Allergan PLC, The Wall Street Journal reported in August.

Over all for the third quarter, Biogen reported a profit of $1.03 billion, or $4.71 a share, up from $965.6 million, or $4.15 a share, a year earlier. Excluding the restructuring charges, among other items, per-share earnings rose to $5.19 from $4.48.

Total revenue rose 6% to $2.96 billion. Analysts had projected adjusted earnings of $4.97 a share on sales of $2.91 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Remember that Biogen is planning to spin off its hemophilia business. The new company will be called Bioverative. (Yuck, who names these?) The spinoff will probably happen sometime early next year. I’m lowering my Buy Below on Biogen to $310 per share.

After the closing bell, Fiserv (FISV) reported Q3 earnings of $1.14 per share. That was one penny more than expectations. Fiserv is about as consistent as they get.

The financial-services company saw its revenue grow by 5%. Last quarter, earnings-per-share rose 11%, and they’re up 15% for the year. Operating margins dropped a bit, to 32.8%. Free cash flow rose 12% to $747 million.

”Strong operating performance in the quarter drove double-digit adjusted earnings-per-share growth and excellent free cash flow,” said Jeffery Yabuki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiserv. “Outstanding sales results in the quarter should provide additional market momentum and growth.”

For all of 2016, Fiserv expects EPS between $4.43 and $4.46. That means Q4 EPS between $1.15 and $1.18. Wall Street had been expecting $1.16.

Yabuki said, “We continue to expect strong operating results despite a slight shortfall in revenue growth for the year. We anticipate revenue growth to accelerate in the fourth quarter and into 2017.”

The share took a small hit after the earnings report, but I still like Fiserv a lot. I’m lowering my Buy Below to $105 per share.

Earnings from Ford Motor, AFLAC, Stryker and Stericycle

Now on to Thursday and four more Buy List earnings report. Before the opening bell, Ford Motor (F) reported Q3 earnings of 26 cents per share. That was six cents more than consensus.

Ford’s earnings were down a lot from last year’s Q3, but investors had been expecting that, and the results a year ago were very strong. Ford’s quarterly revenues fell 6% and, more troubling, operating margins fell to 8.4%.

F-150 sales were pretty good, but a lot of those sales were to fleet buyers, which tend to be less profitable. Frankly, this was a difficult quarter for Ford. The company spent a lot of time and money adjusting itself to much higher gas prices. Now that oil is still well below its high, consumers have gravitated to GM’s SUVs. I’m dropping my Buy Below on Ford to $13 per share.

After Thursday’s bell, AFLAC (AFL) said it earned $1.82 in operating earnings for Q3. That was eight cents more than estimates. The duck stock had given us a huge range of $1.58 to $1.86 per share. The stronger yen added 15 cents per share to AFL’s results. Adjusting for currency, AFLAC’s earnings were up 7.1% from last year.

AFLAC decided to raise its dividend from 41 to 43 cents per share. This is their 34th consecutive dividend increase. The new payout gives the shares a yield of 2.45% based on Thursday’s close.

AFLAC said that if the yen averages 100 to 110 to the dollar for Q4, then they expect Q4 earnings between $1.53 and $1.82 per share. That would bring their full-year earnings to a range of $6.78 to $7.07 per share. AFLAC made $6.16 per share last year. AFLAC remains a solid buy up to $75 per share.

Stryker (SYK) said they earned $1.39 per share for Q3. That was two cents better than estimates. It was also better than the company’s own forecast of $1.33 to $1.38 per share. Quarterly revenues rose 17.1% to $2.83 billion, which also beat estimates.

This was a good quarter for Stryker. The orthopedics company felt confident enough to raise the low-end of its full-year guidance by five cents per share. They now expect 2016 earnings to range between $5.75 and $5.80 per share. That translates to Q4 results of $1.73 and $1.78 per share. The Street had been expecting $1.75 per share. I’m dropping my Buy Below price on Stryker down a tad to $119 per share.

Stericycle (SRCL) has been a terrible stock for us this year. I’ve grown concerned with management’s use of “rollups” to mask slowing organic sales growth. Some of my concerns were assuaged a little bit by the Q3 earnings report. The waste-management company earned $1.24 per share last quarter. That beat estimates by seven cents per share. Still, organic sales rose by just 0.3%.

“We were able to maintain consistent margin performance in the quarter despite revenue headwinds from previously discussed pricing pressure and softness in the manufacturing and industrial market,” said Charlie Alutto, President and Chief Executive Officer.

I’m lowering my Buy Below price on Stericycle to $80 per share.

We have one Buy List earnings report next week. On Tuesday, Cerner (CERN) is scheduled to report its results. For Q3, the health IT company sees earnings ranging between 59 and 61 cents per share.

Cerner’s stock has been a wild ride for us this year. By early March, it was down 17%. CERN then rallied 35% by early August. Since then, it’s slowly slid back.

Three months ago, Cerner reiterated its full-year guidance of $2.30 to $2.40 per share, but it lowered its full-year revenue guidance to $4.9 billion to $5.0 billion. The previous range was $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion.

That’s all for now. Lots more earnings next week. We’ll also get some of the key turn-of-the-month econ reports. Personal income and spending are on Monday. The ISM report is on Tuesday. Wednesday is ADP payroll. The Fed also meets on Wednesday. I strongly doubt they’ll do anything. That leads us up to Friday and the big jobs report. Be sure to keep checking the blog for daily updates. I’ll have more market analysis for you in the next issue of CWS Market Review!

– Eddy

Named by CNN/Money as the best buy-and-hold blogger, Eddy Elfenbein is the editor of Crossing Wall Street. His free Buy List has beaten the S&P 500 eight times in the last nine years. This email was sent by Eddy Elfenbein through Crossing Wall Street.
2223 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA

#UK #GDP, àTesla’s surprise, professional bridesmaids

Good morning, Quartz readers!


The UK releases its third-quarter GDP figures. The country’s economic output will provide a glimpse of its post-Brexit growth prospects. Economists expect growth of about 0.4%, but warn that many of the negative effects of the EU exit will take a while to become apparent.

Apple unveils new Macbooks. Both the Pro and Air lines, long overlooked in comparison to iPhones and other products, will debutrefreshed designs. That will include an OLED touch panel keyboardthat supports customizable keys and fingerprint detection.

Alphabet’s quarterly results. Google’s parent company is expected to report growing revenue and profit from its core advertising business. But investors will be keen to hear updates about its struggling ventures like Google Fiber.


Venezuelans protested against their government. Hundreds of thousands gathered for rallies around the recession-battered nation, chanting “This government is going to fall.” Dozens were arrested or injured, and a police officer was reportedly shot and killed at one of the protest sites. Opposition leaders called for a national strike on Friday.

Tesla shocked doubters with a surprise quarterly profit. The company posted its first positive earnings in two years after CEO Elon Musk urged employees to “throw a pie in the face of all the naysayers on Wall Street who keep insisting that Tesla will always be a money-loser.” Shares jumped more than 6% in after-hours trading.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group is in talks with Bai Brands. The beverage giant could value the flavored-water company at more than $1.5 billion, according to Reuters. Fast-growing Bai sells low-calorie drinks containing antioxidants, making it a tempting target for soda makers grappling with increasingly health-conscious consumers.

Snapchat eyed an ambitious IPO goal. The social media company hopes to raise $4 billion with its public listing. If the size of the IPO changes—which it can—valuation could near $40 billion, unnamed sources told Bloomberg.


A once great beauty
Looks in a mirror and weeps
Sort of like Groupon.


Nikhil Sonnad, Alison Griswold, and Jason Karaian on Halloween costume ideas for the new global economy:Analyst on a conference call: Standard-issue blue dress shirt and work slacks. Enthusiastically compliment everything around you. (‘Great party, guys’ ‘Great costumes, guys’ ‘Great cocktail, guys.’) Davos Man: Suit and tie with snow boots is the go-to outfit for attendees to this elite conference. Helps if you are a white guy.” Read more here.


The world should teach its young people like Germany does.More vocational training could create an economic gain of $1.1 trillion.

It’s more important to have a job that pays well than a job you love. Monetizing your passion can ruin it.

Donald Trump’s favorite movie goes against everything he stands for. He is drawing precisely the wrong lessons from Citizen Kane.


Syria has its own Banksy. A 22-year-old fighter and mural artistconjures beauty from destruction in the ruins outside of Damascus.

Virtually every American will know a shooting victim in their lifetime. A new analysis found that 99.85% will eventually know a victim of gun violence.

Rich people don’t care about you or your problems. New research shows that the wealthy unconsciously pay less attention to passersby on the street.

Chinese brides are hiring professional bridesmaids. It’s hazardous work—one woman died from alcohol poisoning earlier this year.

Kobe Bryant almost missed his last game because he was editing short stories. The basketball legend plans to spend his retirement life working on books and films.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Syrian murals, and bridesmaid survival guides tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

#iPhone malaise, #Venezuela rallies, luxury potato chips

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Elon Musk tries to silence the Tesla doubters. The electric car company’s quarterly results are a chance to “throw a pie in the face of all the naysayers on Wall Street who keep insisting that Tesla will always be a money-loser,” its CEO wrote last month in a staff memo. But a loss is still likely.

Nationwide rallies rock Venezuela. In what’s being dubbed “the takeover of Venezuela”—by the opposition leaders encouraging the demonstrations—protestors will vent their frustration over the country’s economic crisis. The rallies follow the suspension of a recall referendum drive against president Nicolas Maduro. Amidst widespread food shortages, analysts have warned of potentially violent unrest.

India and Russia discuss closer military ties. Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu will meet with his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi to talk about the joint funding of a new fighter jet and a missile defense system.


Is your business speaking Generation Z’s language?Companies will need to employ data and storytelling tactics to appeal to this emerging generation’s beliefs, goals, and consumption habits.Advertisement


Apple reported iPhone sales fell for the third straight quarter…The company’s quarterly revenue and profit were roughly in line with expectations, but shares fell 2% in after-hours trading. China revenue plummeted nearly 30%.

…And it is apparently developing a car operating system in Canada. Over the past year it’s hired about two dozen engineers from BlackBerry’s QNX, an automotive software provider, Bloomberg reported. The tech giant tends to keep R&D projects at its California headquarters.

Volkswagen’s $14.7 billion US settlement was approved. A federal judge gave the go-ahead for a deal—one of the biggest settlements in corporate history—between the carmaker and 475,000 owners of polluting diesel vehicles. Buybacks will begin next month.

Australia reported better-than-expected inflation numbers for the third quarter. Consumer prices rose 0.7% from the second quarter, compared to a consensus forecast of 0.5%. That makes a rate cut in November less likely.


Markets are spooked
The traders’ big fear? There’s too
much tranquility


Oliver Staley on the paradox of Twitter—a cultural success and a business failure: “The company hasn’t had a profitable quarter in the three years since it went public, it was unable to find a buyer recently during a very public attempt to sell itself, and, according to Bloomberg, it’s now planning on laying off 8% of its employees, about 300 workers. More ominously, user growth is stalling.” Read more here.


Elon Musk’s Mars plan has a slew of critical flaws. The effort istoo large in size and cost and there’s little benefit in reducing the journey time to four months.

Muslim Americans can’t win in the presidential election. It’s Donald Trump’s Islamophobia versus Hillary Clinton’s pro-drone stance in the Middle East.

The US military has a Terminator conundrum. Autonomous weapon systems are central to its future plans (paywall).


Red Bull has created 11 billionaires in Thailand. Chaleo Yoovidhya, the inventor of the energy drink, left behind $22 billion for his heirs.

Virtual assistants are being sexually harassed. Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have to dodge personal questions and flirtatious comments from human users.

Rodrigo Duterte let Beijing know the South China Sea was theirs long before being elected president. In an interview with China’s state broadcaster CCTV, he scoffed at the Philippines’ legal challenge to China’s maritime aggression.

Hallucinogens may be the future of entertainment. Netflix’s CEO thinks “pharmacological” competition is a few decades away.

Luxury potato chips are retailing at $11 each. A Swedish microbrewery is selling the snacks, which are made by hand from gourmet ingredients.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, luxury snacks, and hallucinogenic entertainment tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

#Duterte in Tokyo, layoffs at #Twitter, climate change warning from 1882

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Rodrigo Duterte goes to Tokyo. The controversial Philippine president snubbed his Japanese hosts, who are his country’s biggest source of foreign direct investment, by visiting new allies in Beijing first. Japanese leaders are still preparing a bonanza in aid and loans.

Apple earnings lose their shine. Revenues from the iPhone have fallen for two straight quarters, and the launch of the iPhone 7happened too late in the quarter to make much difference. Services from apps, iCloud, and Apple Music may be a bright spot, and results from China will be closely watched.

Google’s latest smartphone begins shipping in India. The well-reviewed Pixel and Pixel Plus will go on sale through e-commerce company Flipkart and in more than 1,000 retail stores. The company is offering customer support through HTC India stores.


According to Prime Minister Abe, work style reform is the solution to slow economic growth. Despite population decline, inflated social security costs pose a threat to the Japanese government. Diversified work styles, which expand occupational freedom and emphasize work-life balance, are intended to boost productivity and spur economic growth.


Alphabet bought a startup specializing in eye-tracking technology. Who needs a computer mouse when eye movements can control things on a screen? That’s the idea behind three-year-old Eyefluence, which will now join the search giant Google at Alphabet. Its technology could work especially well in virtual reality and augmented reality environments.

Twitter plans to fire hundreds of workers. It could announce the layoffs before an earnings report on Thursday, Bloomberg reported. The money-losing company’s share price has fallen about 40% in the past 12 months, making it hard to pay engineers with stock, much less compete for talent. Potential buyers of the company, including Alphabet and Salesforce.com, have backed away.

Nearly everyone panned the AT&T-Time Warner deal. Shares of both companies fell as analysts questioned the logic (paywall) of the $85.4 billion acquisition and its chances of securing approval from antitrust regulators. Both GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine opposed the deal.

Gunmen attacked a police training academy in Pakistan. They killed at least 59 and injured over 115 at the center, located in the southwestern city of Quetta in the Baluchistan province. The Pakistan military attributed the assault to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami, which has a history of staging attacks in the region.


Faceless company
Pulling at the strings. “Westworld”
or AT&T? 🌵


Isabella Steger on the battle between feminism and deep-seated misogyny in South Korea. “Newly-formed online feminist group Megalia’s activism is a bold step in a country where women continue to face discrimination at home, in the workplace, and on the streets. Yet as more women push against deep-set conservative attitudes in Korea, the backlash has been vicious. Young Korean men, who no longer enjoy the same economic security and position of power in society, are virtually, and literally, taking their frustrations out on women.” Read more here.


Nobody will admit that America is fighting in five wars.Politicians and the press are trying to avoid responsibility for US military adventures in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

Africa wasn’t “rising” before and it’s not ”reeling” now.Economic tropes have obscured a diverse and complex continent.

There’s no such thing as a true rebel. We’re all subject to influences, especially when we try to resist them.


Pssst. AI is actually boring, and it’s already all around us. You may not have noticed, but AI is already everywhere. It decides what news you read, which friends you keep up with, and what music you listen to. If AI continues to fit seamlessly and changes our lives ever so marginally, its future appears to be boring. Sign up for a free event in London on November 16 and hear experts who try to prove Quartz’s thesis wrong.


Climate change is not a new concept. The environmental impact of burning fossil fuels was discussed in 1882.

Your “organic” shampoo is meaningless. There’s no certification process for non-food items.

A Chinese university sells HIV testing kits through a vending machine. The kits cost less than $5 and are sold alongside snacks and drinks in the machines at China’s Southwest Petroleum University in the Sichuan province.

The Victorians were obsessed with disembodied hands. They were frequently incorporated into housewares and sculpture.

A weed-filled bus went up in flames this weekend. The vehicle caused a massive traffic jam, but everyone was surprisingly chill about it.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, disembodied hands, and weed buses to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or downloadour iPhone app.

#Spain gets a government, #Hanjin exits #Europe, the #iPod is 15

Good morning, Quartz readers!


The big buyout goes to DC. Myriad regulators and committees willgear up to examine the proposed $85 billion acquisition of entertainment giant Time Warner by telecom company AT&T.Authorities should minimize regulatory oversight, argues AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, because it’s a “vertical merger.”

The fight to reclaim Iraq pushes deeper into Mosul. Kurdish fighters aim take the city back from ISIL. Along the way, they’ve recaptured the town of Bashiqa. The closest points of Kurdish lines to Mosul are now as little as three miles away from the city limits.

Visa reports its earnings. Analysts expect a strong performance, but with the credit card behemoth announcing both the resignation of CEO Charles Scharf a new offering based on blockchain technology last week, it’s the 2017 guidance investors will be keen to hear.


Spain will get a government. Conservative leader Mariano Rajoyhas been hamstrung by his party’s inability to win an outright majority in two elections. But rather than trigger a third, his socialist opponents have agreed to stand aside and let him form Spain’s first minority government.

Hanjin Shipping announced it’s closing its European operations. It’s the latest sign that the South Korean shipping giant is heading toward liquidation (paywall). The move would involve shutting down 10 business operations in Europe, including the regional headquarters in Germany.

US banks announced their Venmo competitor. Set to compete against PayPal-owned Venmo, their money-transfer app will be called Zelle. It will launch next year and be built atop the payments networks of the nation’s biggest banks, including Chase, Citi, and Bank of America.

Rockwell Collins confirmed it will buy B/E Aerospace in a $6.4 billion deal. They’re two of the biggest suppliers in the aerospace industry, which is seeing more mergers (paywall) in response to cost-cutting pressure from plane makers Airbus and Boeing.

The iPod turned 15. Take a gander at the astonishingly wide variety of forms that a product renowned for its simplicity and ease of use has inhabited over the years.


Ephrat Livni on a study explaining the surprising effect happiness has on creativity. “Workers who were rated most creative reported experiencing both strong negative and positive moods and felt they had supportive managers. Happier workers with good bosses, however, were rated significantly less creative than those with mixed emotions.” Read more here.


Actually, many Evangelicals oppose Trump. Polls showing strong support for the Republican candidate among members of that religious group are not factoring in minorities.

You are partly to blame for a cyber attack that paralyzed Twitter and Amazon on Friday. Consumers who don’t secure their internet-connected devices are putting themselves and the internet in danger.

Women should dress any age they want. Society should stop telling women over 50 to upturn their neck collars to hide wrinkles or abandon high heels.


A scientist has launched a worldwide search for a suitable companion for a pet snail. The University of Nottingham professoris trying to find a mate for a snail with a rare genetic variation.

Bill Murray crashed the White House briefing room. The noted party crasher gave a spur-of-the-moment press conference on his beloved Chicago Cubs after visiting president Barack Obama.

Pretty soon you’ll need reading glasses to go online. An award-winning blogger worried about his straining eyesight found awidespread movement” toward fonts that blur the contrast between words and background, including at Apple, Google, and Twitter.

Most men misread whether women are sexually interested in them. They are thrown off by the clothes women wear and their attractiveness, but ignore their body language and facial expressions.

Mating with Neanderthals made Europeans’ immune systems weaker. Two studies found that people of African descent are better at fighting off certain kinds of infections.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, counterclockwise snails, and vintage iPods tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

Weekend edition—#Russia’s failing space program, #Shenzhen copycats, terrible ballot design

Good morning, Quartz readers!

This week the ExoMars team placed a satellite in orbit around the red planet but failed to land the accompanying spacecraft. Scientifically the mission was largely a success: the satellite will soon start sniffing the Martian atmosphere for signs of present or past life. But the lander’s failure is symbolic of the fortunes of Russia’s Roscosmos, which built the landing gear and is an equal partner with the European Space Agency (ESA) on ExoMars.

Russia is one of two nations (the other is China) currently capable of putting humans into space, and at that job it’s been spectacularly reliable. Without Russia’s Soyuz rockets, there would be no US astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). But on other fronts the once mighty Russian (previously Soviet) space program has floundered. Its last successful interplanetary mission was to Venus in 1984. With Mars, it’s had a string of almost unmitigated failures since its first attempted flyby in 1960.

At its height, Soviet spending on space rivaled America’s (pdf, p. 5). But now Roscosmos’s budget for the coming decade is equal to NASA’s for a single year. The $7.5 billion Vostochny Cosmodrome—a new launch site intended to restore Roscosmos’s glory—has been hit with spiraling costs, delays, strikes, and even admissions of embezzlement. Russia has also had to delay an ambitious new moon program, which includes building a lunar complex and orbital station. Worse still, Roscomos’s lucrative contracts to send NASA astronauts to the ISS may not continue beyond 2017, when SpaceX or Boeingstart human launches.

So ExoMars matters a lot to Roscosmos. The mission’s next phase involves sending a rover to Mars in 2021. ESA is to build the rover while Roscosmos is to redesign the failed landing gear based on the data gathered this week. If that mission fails too, it’ll wound ESA’s pride, but it could ruin Russia’s.—Akshat Rathi


The lightning-fast copycats of Shenzhen. Put an idea up on Kickstarter, and it could be on sale online in China before you’ve even raised your funding. Josh Horwitz looks into what entrepreneurs can do to profit from their inventions despite the certainty that they will get ripped off.

Work-life balance is possible, even in America. Patagonia, the sports gear company, boasts a remarkable 100% retention rate of workers who’ve become mothers. Jenny Anderson and Erik Olsen examine its template for child-care and parental leave policies and suggest they don’t have to be unique.

What a computer thought of the presidential debates. A team of grad students showed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s performances to software that interprets emotions from facial expressions. Sarah Slobin and Michael Tabb present the results, which, while crude, are surprisingly revealing.

Why Donald Trump is obsessed with borders. The real-estate mogul grew up in the New York borough of Queens at a time when, as Marina Budhos explains, it was “defined by tribalism, racial segregation, and simmering resentments.” These forces, she argues, perfectly explain both Trump’s outlook and his appeal to a large swathe of America.

The ADHD generation at work. Millennials who took Adderall to get through university have brought it to the workplace. Are they addicts, or just workaholics? As companies have little incentive to make employees less productive, Carey Dunne asks what the long-term effects will be for both employer and employee.


Meet the Russians hacking the US election. A group known as (among other names) “Fancy Bear” has been identified for years as the culprit behind various high-profile hacks. But only now has the US openly accused it of taking orders from the Kremlin. Buzzfeed’s Sheera Frenkel describes its tactics.

Can a millennial rich kid save San Salvador? Nayib Bukele, the El Salvadorean capital’s 33-year-old mayor, is widely admired. But are his projects for revitalizing the world’s murder capital just PR, or as he calls it, “inspiration”? Lauren Markham tries to find out, in a profile at the Guardian’s Long Read.

America’s unbelievably badly designed ballot papers. Hundreds of thousands of votes will be miscast this November because of fiendishly complicated and confusing ballots. ProPublica’s Lena Groeger shows off a rogue’s gallery of design awfulness—some of it required by law—and looks at how simple changes could make big improvements in the world’s most powerful democracy.

The opioid epidemic ravaging the developing world. From farmers in Cameroon to cab drivers in Cairo, people are becoming addicted to tramadol, a synthetic painkiller described as more powerful than morphine. Lax international regulations are enabling its spread in poor countries, writes Justin Scheck in the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

A white supremacist comes to Shabbat. A boy goes to college, makes new friends, and forms new ideas. Only in this case, the boy is Derek Black, the son of a prominent American white nationalist, and his new friends are from Jewish scripture and German multiculturalism classes. Eli Saslow of the Washington Post relates how those encounters led Black to disavow white supremacism and his own father.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, ADHD drugs, and confusing ballot papers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.