Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
The European Central Bank speaks for the first time since Brexit. The bank isn’t expected to make any major policy decisions, but president Mario Draghi’s press conference afterward should be considerably more interesting.
The US National Association of Realtors releases numbers on June home sales. The annualized sales pace in May was the strongest since February 2007. June is expected to be down slightly, but that would still be a strong showing (paywall).
An earnings bonanza. AT&T, Biogen, Chipotle, Daimler, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts, GM, Starbucks, Unilever, and Visa are among the many companies cracking open their books to release quarterly results.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Hong Kong charged student leaders of a 2014 pro-democracy movement. They were found guilty of unlawful assembly. Led most prominently by Joshua Wong, the students helped start a 79-day street occupation nicknamed the Umbrella Movement, arguably the biggest challenge to the Chinese Communist Party since the 1989 Tiananmen protests.
A security flaw in Apple software emerged. It would allow hackers to access passwords and applies to the latest iPhones, Apple computers, and other devices, according to a tech expert who spoke to Fortune. Apple addressed the vulnerability in its latest software updates, but that does little good for the users who don’t download those updates.
Elon Musk released his “master plan” for Tesla. The CEOoutlined four goals for his electric-car company moving forward: delivering solar power to the masses, producing vehicles any home or business can buy (including heavy-duty trucks), making all Teslas fully self-driving, and building a car-sharing service. And, oh yes, weaning humanity off fossil fuels.
Airbnb hired a former US attorney general to craft an anti-racism plan. Eric Holder made civil rights a signature issue of the US justice department during his tenure and more recently has been a prominent voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. The home-sharing service has been roiled by cases of black users beingrejected by hosts.
The Republican National Conventions provided more drama…During his speech US senator Ted Cruz told Americans to “vote your conscience” and he refused to endorse Donald Trump, drawing boos from Trump supporters. Cruz’s wife Heidi had to be whisked to safety, away from some angry members of the audience.
…while a Trump staffer took the fall for Melania Trump’s speech. Meredith McIver apologized for plagiarizing a 2008 Michelle Obama speech and submitted her resignation, which Donald Trump declined to accept.
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QUARTZ MARKETS HAIKU
Earnings have been good
The economy, decent
Why shouldn’t stocks rise?
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Marc Bain on Americans who won’t buy full-price clothes.“Department stores such as Macy’s continue to struggle. Specialty apparel stores including J. Crew and Gap are withering. Many can only find customers by discounting. Meanwhile, they’re losing shoppers to off-price stores selling goods that are permanently on sale.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Pokémon Go glorifies animal cruelty. The popular game is essentially a virtual cockfight with enslaved creatures.
Video games are shrinking the labor force. Unemployed young men are less inclined to seek work when they’re gaming up to 45 hours a week.
Student debt isn’t hurting the US economy. The downside of $1.3 trillion in unpaid loans is outweighed by the benefits of an educated workforce.
South Korean soldiers are battling stress with ballet. Dance classes at the border are a way to find balance and forge friendships.
Lime juice and sunlight can give you a “margarita burn.” Citric acid makes skin extra-sensitive, sometimes causing second degree burns.
The International Space Station has its first 3D printer. If emergencies occur, astronauts can simply print the parts they need.
Egypt is the most rectangular country on earth. That’s according to a new algorithm that ranks national shapeliness.
There’s a summertime feud over outlandish pool floats. One manufacturer is suing Amazon and two vendors for selling counterfeit inflatable donuts, pineapples, and flamingos.
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