Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
The UK’s Labour party is challenged in a traditional stronghold. In a by-election the Conservatives have a good chance of winning Copeland, a constituency in the northwest that has voted Labour for about 80 years. A loss would suggest trouble in the heartlands for Labour and put more pressure on its unpopular leader Jeremy Corbyn. Unlike the party, Copeland voted to leave the EU.
Baidu releases earnings. The Chinese search giant will disclose fourth-quarter and fiscal-year earnings after the bell, following a jump in profit last quarter. Investors are on the lookout for impacts from regulatory changes and new investments, as well as an update on Baidu’s artificial intelligence efforts.
Rex Tillerson is in Mexico. The US secretary of state, along with Homeland Security chief John Kelly, is meeting with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto to discuss border security, law enforcement, and trade during a two-day visit. The duo will aim to smooth tensions between the two countries.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
NASA discovered seven “ultracool” exoplanets. The Earth-sized, rocky planets are orbiting Trappist-1, a star just 39 light years away. The discovery will change the way scientists search for signs of life across the galaxy.
Tesla beat expectations. The electric car company posted a smaller-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter, and $2.28 billion in revenue (versus a forecast of $2.13 billion). Tesla is still bleeding money—it lost $448 million from operating activities in the quarter—but says deliveries of its Tesla X and Model 3 cars are on track.
ExxonMobil reported a major reduction in its proven oil reserves. They were down to 20 billion barrels at the end of 2016, a drop of 19.3% from a year earlier. The biggest culprit: an oil-sands development in western Canada that’s become impossible to profitably harvest amid low energy prices.
The Fed feels good about rate hikes. Minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting showed many officialsexpressing confidence in raising interest rates again “fairly soon.” The Fed last raised rates in December, only the second increase in a decade.
The Bank of Korea held interest rates steady. The country’s central bank made no change for the eighth straight month, providing a bit of stability to a nation wracked by political scandals and worried about its unpredictable neighbor to the north.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Marc Bain on China’s love of Ivanka Trump. “Companies in the US are grappling with how to handle Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand, which has become heavily politicized and faces ongoing boycotts over the policies of Trump’s father, US president Donald Trump. But among Chinese firms, a race is on to cash in on the US first daughter’s rising profile.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Selfies are modern art. The photos offer insight into our efforts tocreate and present an authentic self.
Workers should get breaks for sex. A Swedish politician is advocating for the ultimate office perk.
Pakistan is on the up and up. Improved security, relative political stability, and a growing middle class are driving an economic awakening.
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The broccoli of the future knows no season. Scientists are developing a new line of the vegetable that can grow year-round.
There is a US national standard for dry martinis. They must be made of 86-proof (at least) English or American gin, and dry vermouth, preferably French (pdf).
It’s illegal to be a rhesus macaque in Japan. A zoo killed 57 of its snow monkeys after discovering they had been crossbred with the banned species.
Sweden’s government would like to collect fewer taxes. Since the central bank lowered interest rates, the country has seen a spate of overpayments (paywall).
There’s a school for adulting. Would-be grownups can learn how to manage their finances and fold their fitted sheets.
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