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WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Narendra Modi and Barack Obama meet in Washington. The Indian prime minister will also address a joint session of Congressduring his visit. Modi and Obama have enjoyed an unlikely friendshipas the United States looks for a counterbalance to China in Asia.
Meanwhile, the US and China wrap up tense talks. US treasury secretary Jack Lew is pressing China to lower barriers to foreign business and cut excess steel production, with limited success. China called on the US to do more to help poorer countries fight climate change.
India’s central bank holds its policy meeting. Analysts predict that the Reserve Bank of India will not lower rates, which are at a five-year low. However, the RBI governor says a rate cut is possible in August, depending on inflation and monsoon conditions.
A pivotal Valeant earnings report. Despite recent turmoil, analysts expect a relatively drama-free quarterly report (paywall)—the first since Joseph Papa took over as CEO. He faces the difficult task of stabilizing Valeant’s business without drug price hikes or splashy acquisitions.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Hillary Clinton appeared to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. With a Puerto Rico win and support from superdelegates, she reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become her party’s presumptive nominee. Rival Bernie Sanders noted the votes of superdelegates shouldn’t be counted until they actually vote at the upcoming convention.
Janet Yellen downplayed an imminent interest rate hike. The US Federal Reserve chair pointedly did not mention any plans to raise rates in the coming months, after a dreadful US jobs report suggested the economy was too fragile. Traders expect the hike to be delayed until at least July.
Goldman Sachs is being probed over Malaysia’s 1MDB. US law enforcement officials are trying to determine whether the bank violated money laundering laws after failing to flag a transaction related to the Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the Wall Street Journal reported.
Ford is looking to build luxury cars in China. The automaker is in talks with Changan Automobile Group to open factories for its high-end Lincoln line in Chongqing, sources told Bloomberg. Ford expects China to become Lincoln’s largest market by the end of the decade.
QUARTZ MARKETS HAIKU
A warm afternoon,
Market’s soft hum over the
Cooing of the dove
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Sarah Leberstein on how Uber turns its drivers into modern-day sharecroppers. “As exploitative as arrangements like this are, they get even worse when the cost of business essentials like gas spike, or when Uber unilaterally lowers fares. Shawn Hofstede leased a 2016 Toyota Corolla from Xchange in November, paying $155 a week. When Uber slashed fares two months later, Hofstede went from making $200 to $140 in a weekend.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Disgust was the driving force behind civilization. The need to escape parasites created a system of moral behavior.
Smart homes are still too dumb. The failure of Nest underscores the difficulty of connecting appliances to the internet.
Universal Basic Income is universally misunderstood. It’s actually about tax reform.
“Hello Kitty” cantaloupes are coming to Japan. The melons have the cartoon character’s face grown on their skin.
There’s a robot that can check your bags at Geneva’s airport.It can navigate from the curb to the check-in desk on its own.
The Chicago Zoo has a new baby camel named “Alexander Camelton.” The musical about America’s rediscovered founding father is coming soon to Chicago.
McDonald’s is giving away a gold McNugget in Japan. The 18-karat prize is supposed to lure more customers to the struggling fast-food chain.
Mark Zuckerberg made a rookie mistake on the internet.Hackers used a stupidly simple password to break into several of his social media accounts.
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