#iPhone X launch, @realDonaldTrump silenced, kleptopredation

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

Apple’s iPhone X finally launches. Potential sales in China are stilla big question mark, but lines formed outside stores pretty early inSingapore, Japan, and Australia. Though investors worried that announcing three iPhones at once was a mistake, Apple’s quarterlyearnings were solid, and shares hit a record high.

Berkshire Hathaway reports its quarterly earnings. This year’s extreme weather did a number on Warren Buffet’s collection of insurance groups. Analysts expect major losses, but Berkshire should still turn an operating profit.

Donald Trump visits Hawaii on his way to Japan. Pearl Harbor is the US president’s first stop before touring Asia. Japan is up first, then South Korea, China, Vietnam, and finally, the Philippines. Trump’s not going anywhere near the North Korean border, calling the Demilitarized Zone a “cliche.

The US releases October jobs data. The US economy shed jobs for the first time since September 2010 because of weather disruptions. Economist surveyed forecast 300,000 new jobs(paywall) were added last month.

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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Venezuela announced plans for a debt restructuring. President Nicolas Maduro said the government will transfer funds for a $1.1 billion principal payment on state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela bonds that came due yesterday, and will then renegotiate the terms of its debt with creditors.

Twitter accidentally silenced Donald Trump. The social network said that the president’s Twitter account was shut down for 11 minutes by a departing customer-support employee on the last day of the job.

The US pulled back on fighting corruption in the oil industry.The White House said it would withdraw from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which requires members to disclose their revenues from energy and mining assets.

A billionaire closed down DNAinfo, Gothamist, and other blogs.Their owner, Joe Ricketts, who founded TD Ameritrade, shuttered the sites after New York-based staff decided to unionize last week. The decision involves blogs based in other cities too, such as Chicagoist, Shanghaiist, and LAist.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Michael J. Coren on how Amazon competing with so many companies may not end well. “But Amazon’s unprecedented logistics and delivery infrastructure, paired with access to personal data about Americans’ purchasing habits, means it is unique in the history of global commerce. No company has ever wielded this combination of consumer insight and infrastructure, say historians and legal analysts, which means the company grows stronger and less assailable with every purchase.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

The economic disparity in innovative cities is no coincidence.An analysis of US cities shows that growth in high-tech innovationcauses a widening gap between the rich and the poor.

The new Fed chair isn’t an economist, and that’s fine. A chair with more political savvy than a lifelong academic may be what’s necessary to maintain the Fed’s independence.

Xi Jinping is not the “president” of China. His official title is actually “state chairman,” reflecting the emphasis not on republican representation, but authority.

We shouldn’t separate work from life. Instead, we should seekwork-life integration by incorporating our personal and business interests into our daily routines.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Finnair is weighing passengers at Helsinki airport. The airline is checking that the estimates it uses to calculate total weight, fuel, and safety are accurate.

Scientists discovered a void inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.The mysterious 30-meter-long space may have been a burial chamber, a gallery, or just a sealed-off construction passage.

NASA found another 20 promising planets for human colonization. If confirmed, this would increase the number of known, habitable near-Earth-sized exoplanets to around 50.

Kleptopredation is a new scientific term for super-sizing a meal at sea. It refers to a previously unknown behavior: a predator eating prey that itself just filled up on prey.

The world’s most expensive whisky is actually fake. Laboratory tests found that a £7,600 ($9,928) dram of 1878 Scotch, bought by a Chinese millionaire, was likely distilled sometime after 1970.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, habitable exoplanets, and real whisky to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or downloadour apps for iPhone and Android.

Annunci

Euro-zone GDP, #Samsung soars, #AI horror stories

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

The EU publishes an initial estimate of GDP growth. Analysts expect the euro-zone economy expanded 0.5% in the third quarterfrom the second. With economic sentiment high after a decade of malaise, the European Central Bank last week announced it will begin to gently dismantle the emergency stimulus it’s been providing.

Australia shuts down a refugee detention center. Fearing for their safety outside, hundreds of asylum seekers are refusing to leave the country’s controversial Manus Island facility in Papua New Guinea, even as authorities plan to cut off water, food, and power supplies. Refugees report being assaulted by local residents.

A flurry of earnings reports. Among the companies sharing their numbers today (pdf) are MasterCard, Aetna, Mosaic, Electronic Arts, Devon Energy, Archer Daniels Midland, and Under Armour. The last is expected to report slower sales growth as it loses ground to German rival Adidas.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

China and South Korea agreed to shelve the dispute over THAAD. The two countries, each set to host Trump early next month,will restore a relationship that was strained by South Korea allowing the deployment of the US missile shield on its soil. Beijing said it still had concerns about the system but didn’t see South Korea as a strategic threat.

New Zealand said it will ban foreigners from buying existing homes. Making good on one of her campaign pledges, new prime minister Jacinda Ardern said, “We are determined to make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home, so we are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices.” The new rules, which won’t apply to Australians, will start early next year.

Apple is designing iPhones that would jettison Qualcomm components. The tech giant could make the devices only with modem chips from Intel or possibly MediaTek, reported the Wall Street Journal (paywall). Qualcomm has reportedly withheld testing software following a lawsuit in January, in which Apple said Qualcomm uses its market dominance to block competitors.

Samsung Electronics notched another stellar performance.After hitting record operating profit in the second quarter, the company did even better in the third with $12.9 billion, thanks to soaring memory chip earnings. The strong showing came despite turmoil at the top level of the company.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Zheping Huang on China blocking the world’s hottest video game. “[Authorities] compared PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and similar survival games with ancient Rome’s gladiator battles, saying the violently competitive spirit behind them is ‘against our country’s core socialist values and the Chinese nation’s traditional cultural behaviors and moral principles, and bad for teenagers’ physical and mental health.’” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Trump is turning the Fed into a reality show. His selection process disrespects the institution and undercuts his eventual pick—reportedly Fed governor Jerome Powell.

Changing the topic won’t work for sexual harassers. Actor Kevin Spacey’s pivot to discuss his own sexuality is offensive—and it didn’t save House of Cards from cancellation.

Do robots have free speech? The Russian-backed bots that influenced the 2016 election raise a host of questions about who and what qualifies for constitutional protections.

QUARTZ ANNOUNCEMENT

New Orleans is more than parades and parties—it’s home to the fastest-growing tech conference in America. Come to Collision on April 30-May 3, 2018 and meet the biggest founders and investors in tech. Last year’s attendees included leaders at Facebook, WeWork, FanDuel, Intel Capital, Benchmark Capital, Cisco, eBay, Credit Karma, and Mozilla—oh, and Wyclef. Enter herefor the chance to go for free—airfare and hotel included.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

The alt-right is creating its own language. Quartz analyzedbillions of comments to define terms like “hypergamy,” “femoids,” and “meeks.”

Google is fixing its inaccurate cheeseburger. CEO Sundar Pichai said the company “will drop everything” to address the Android emoji that stacks the cheese beneath the burger.

There’s a planet where it snows sunscreen. Titanium dioxide, the active ingredient in sunblock, falls from the sky on Kepler-13Ab, a scorching-hot planet six times the size of Jupiter.

Japan’s Halloween is a celebration of cuteness and grossness. From pumpkin decorations to faux-moldy hamburgers, the holiday is now bigger than Valentine’s Day and second only to Christmas.

An AI learned to write horror stories. “Shelley” generates spooky, off-putting plots after studying 140,000 original horror posts from Reddit.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, flawed emoji, and sunscreen snow to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or downloadour apps for iPhone and Android.

Bespoke Brunch Reads: 10/28/17

Good Morning!
Below is our “Bespoke Brunch Reads” linkfest featuring some of our favorite articles from the past week.

Rethinkings

Public Policy After Utopia by Will Wilkinson (Niskanen Center)

A case for evidenced-based policy making and an eschewing of “the perfect world” that radicals of all kinds think they can achieve, but are often unable to show would actually move forward their goals. [Link]

A Peek at Future Jobs Shows Growing Economic Divides by Ben Casselman (NYT)

Huge swathes of the country have employment landscapes dominated by jobs that are estimated to shrink by 2026 per new BLS data. [Link; soft paywall]

Investing

The Morningstar Mirage by Kirsten Grind, Tom McGinty and Sarah Krouse (WSJ)

Investors flock to funds that receive a coveted five star rating from Morningstar, but returns don’t tend to be much higher for funds with more stars. [Link; paywall]

Inflation

How I Accidentally Stiffed My Poor Venezuelan Waiter by Stephen Merelman (Bloomberg)

When the amount of cash you need to accomplish daily tasks rises into the “grocery bags” denomination, even tipping becomes a major challenge. [Link]

The Lighter Side

So This Happened in Our Comments Section Today by Nancy Wartik (NYT)

Never read the comments, except for this one. [Link; soft paywall]

Blockchain

This Company Added the Word ‘Blockchain’ to Its Name and Saw Its Shares Surge 394% by Lisa Pham (Bloomberg)

A company with little to offer got investors to bid up its shares by almost 4x on a simply name change, in case you’re wondering what sentiment around cryptocurrencies looks like. [Link]

Backed by Dollar Scarcity, Price of Bitcoin Caps $10,000 in Zimbabwe by William P (Crypto Analyst)

The exchange which services Zimbabwe has seen an explosion in local prices for bitcoin, driven by huge domestic demand and a lack of arbitrage. [Link]

Tech Dystopia

The 12 Most Desperate Stunts Cities Have Pulled To Woo Amazon’s New H.Q. by Maya Kosoff (Vanity Fair)

Buying (and reviewing!) 1000 separate items, Spotify playlists, noisemeters at hockey games, a 21 foot cactus, free sandwiches, and more. [Link]

Elon Musk Was Wrong About Self-Driving Teslas by Tom Randall (Bloomberg)

Tesla owners are suing over a feature that hasn’t lived up to its much-hyped debut buzz last year, and doesn’t show any sign of being ready soon. [Link]

New Chatbots Will Help People Accept Death by Jordan Pearson (Vice)

While chatbots are proving helpful for people unaware of basic legal and medical planning for the end of their lives, they’re not going to be providing much in terms of spiritual guidance any time soon. [Link]

Food & Drink

‘Fish Fraud’ Is Rampant. Here’s How to Fix It by Elizabeth Dunn (WSJ)

As much as one third of US seafood is mislabeled, and with 90% it imported there’s lots of room for standards in the market to propagate better practices elsewhere around the world. [Link; paywall]

World wine production ‘to hit 50-year low’ (BBC)

+15% declines in Italy, Spain, and France brought about by weather mean global grape growth has slowed dramatically. Australia and Argentina will be up while the US crop should be little changed (forest fires in California came after most of the harvest). [Link]

The Thing About Bisquick by Alia Akkam (Taste Cooking)

For our two cents, biscuits don’t need anything more than flour, milk, butter, baking powder, and a bit of honey. But Bisquick is defensible if only for its time saving properties. [Link]

Long Reads

Under The Darkest Sky by Jasmina Keleman (Roads And Kingdoms)

In wide open Texas, the limitless night skies are in need of conservation; not against traditional threats to visibility, but from the even more pernicious footprint of human civilization, light. [Link]

How Martin Luther Changed The World by Joan Acocella (The New Yorker)

While the man who launched the Reformation probably never nailed his 95 Theses to a church door, he was still a fascinating and truly revolutionary character who has deeply shaped our modern world. [Link]

Have a great Sunday!

TPP talks resume, US election-probe arrests, interstellar comet

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

The revival of TPP talks. The US pulled out of the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, but the chief negotiators from the remaining 11 nations are meeting in Japan and aim to move forward. They hope to finish the last stages of negotiation this week and reach a broad agreement at next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam.

The first arrests in the US’s 2016 election probe. The FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the last presidential election could bear its first public fruit. A grand jury assembled by FBI special counsel Robert Mueller’s office approved charges against individuals on Friday; they could be taken into custody as soon as today.

Iceland starts to form a new government. After a snap election this weekend, neither prime minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s Independence Party nor any other won a majority in parliament. Today leaders from eight parties that won seats will meet individually with president Gudni Johannesson, who will decide who gets the first crack at trying to assemble a government—but coalition negotiations could take months.

OVER THE WEEKEND

The Spanish government sacked Catalonia’s leaders. Over 140 people were dismissed early Saturday (paywall) as part of Spain’s takeover of the region, and a vote has been scheduled for Dec. 21 to replace the elected officials removed. In the region’s capital Barcelona, hundreds of thousands marched for a unified Spain yesterday, highlighting the divisions within Catalonia.

Nikon plans to close a digital camera factory because of competition from smart phones. The Nikkei reported that the plant(paywall) in China churns out entry-level devices, while the global market for compact digital cameras has shrunk to a tenth of its peak within the past decade. The company projects a sharp drop in the sale of such cameras this year.

HSBC reported strong earnings with help from Asia. The bank reported a pretax profit of $4.6 billion in the third quarter, up from $843 million in the same period a year ago, thanks in part to its expanding marketshare in Asia. The year-ago period was affected by a one-off loss from the sale of its Brazilian unit, and adverse foreign currency movements.

Whitefish’s $300 million Puerto Rico contract was canceled.The Puerto Rico Power Authority nixed a contract to rebuild the island’s energy grid at governor Ricardo Rossello’s urging. The unfavorable terms raised questions about how Whitefish got the deal, as did the company’s apparent ties to the Trump administration, which tried to distance itself from the affair.

An explosion killed at least 27 people in Mogadishu. Two car bombs exploded on Saturday just outside the Nasa Hablod Two Hotel—two weeks after the city was hit with the deadliest car bombings in Somalia’s modern history, which killed over 275. Al-Shabaab, the local branch of al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Annalisa Merelli on the US’s maternal mortality rate. “On that May day, she joined one of the US’s most shameful statistics. With an estimated 26.4 deaths for every 100,000 live births in 2015, America has the highest maternal mortality rate of all industrialized countries… While most of the world has drastically reduced maternal mortality in the past three decades, the US is one of just a handful of countries where the problem worsened.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Underwater gates will save New York. A nonprofit wants the city toput a series of massive underwater gates in New York Harbor, echoing the work of Dutch and UK governments, to prevent flooding.

Daylight savings time is massively disruptive. It’s only an hour, but it could make you cranky, and even dangerous.

A “millionaire’s tax” is not the answer to US tax reform.Republicans should argue it makes more sense to close the loopholes and subsidies that distort economic decisions (paywall).

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Scientists think they saw the first “interstellar comet” from beyond our solar system. Astronomers have waited decades to see the object they have dubbed A/2017 U1.

Kazakhstan may soon become Qazaqstan. The country’s president signed a decree swapping its 42-letter Cyrillic alphabet to a32-letter Latin alphabet, to be fully implemented by 2025.

The tea-infusing business had its own Juicero. Teforia, a $1,000 internet-of-things device that brews loose-leaf tea, had its price slashed to $199 after the company went belly-up on Friday.

China could turn its western desert into “California.” Chinese scientists hope to build a 1,000-km (621-mile) tunnel to divert a Tibetan river into an arid region in Xinjiang, turning it into an agricultural mecca.

Martin Luther mailed it, not nailed it. The German monk behind the Protestant Reformation likely never nailed his 95 theses to a church door, historians believe. Instead, he mailed them to a Catholic archbishop.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, tea machines, and holy snail-mail to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.

Weekend edition—Princess Moana, free-range humans, nuclear weapons

Good morning, Quartz readers!

America’s next election is just a year away, and the country is still picking up the pieces from the last one.

This coming week, lawyers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google will tell the US Congress and the public how their platforms were used by Russian accounts to spread fear, hate, and division before last November’s presidential vote. While they’re testifying in the US, what they’re saying should resonate from Europe to Africa to Asia, where local elections have been marred by foreign propaganda spread on social media.

We’re at the early stages of the US grappling with how social media may have been weaponized by a foreign government. The next step after companies try to publicly defend themselves should be the unsettling process of examining how your relatives, your neighbors, your high school classmates, and yes, even you yourself, might have been targeted or manipulated.

But there’s no way to do that. These information giants are unilaterally disappearing the evidence—pulling down whole pages andeliminating accounts linked to Russian users. When news organization have unearthed individual examples, social media companies are wiping them from the internet. Some members of Congress are pushing the companies to make these messages public, but they’re resisting.

These companies are also hoping to avoid heavy regulation, by writing new rules themselves. Twitter said this week it would stop taking advertising dollars from Russian state media, and Facebookrolled out new political ad guidelines that include identifying who they reached, and keeping an archive of federal election ads that goes back years. (That won’t include the Russian propaganda targeted to US voters in 2016, however—the archive starts now. )

Trying to eliminate the evidence of wrongdoing while strengthening rules to prevent it in the future is an understandable corporate reaction. But it doesn’t take into account how intertwined Facebook, Twitter, and Google are in voter’s lives. Americans need to be able to see for themselves what was used to try to divide us, or else it could happen again.

The next test is coming fast—there are 34 Senate seats and all 435 in the House up for grabs in Nov. 2018.—Heather Timmons

WEEKEND WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

What’s being said about Robert Mueller’s indictments in the Trump-Russia probe

FIVE THINGS ON QUARTZ WE ESPECIALLY LIKED

One school can teach a nation. A poor, multi-ethnic school on the eastern fringes of London has overcome austerity and changing demographics to produce some of the nation’s top-performing students. Aamna Mohdin returned to the school, which she attended as a refugee from war-torn Somalia, and asks, might my school hold lessons for how a post-brexit Britain can heal its fractured communities?

🎵 How far we’ve come. 🎵 Preeti Varathan responds to a viral essayby a white mother agonizing over her daughter’s desire to dress up as Moana, a Polynesian Disney princess, for Halloween. Varathan, who is South Indian and once got to live out her childhood dream of dressing up as Rapunzel for the holiday, argues for letting children dress up as heroes from another race, and provides practical tips for doing so in a way that’s thoughtful, culturally sensitive, and instructive for children—and their parents.

The White House held a fancy party. Heather Timmons reportedon disgruntlement over the $8,000 party the White House held for its homeland security nominee. As a direct result, a Congressional committee has called for an investigation.

What should a robot wear in the 21st century? You might think JiaJia, a Chinese-built robot, would sport black leather, Lycra, form-fitting jumpsuits, and synthetics. But the astonishingly true-to-life humanoid instead donned white embroidered robes and an elaborate hairstyle in an exhibit in Shanghai this spring. While she didn’t impress AI experts and techies, she left many in China breathless at her beauty. Tripti Lahiri dives deep on the theory behind the robot’s fashion choices, and unearths a puzzling fact: Robots in Asia have human stylists.

This Twitter account hunts for bots that push political opinions. Keith Collins built a service to ferret out the social media astroturfing that Russians and others used to influence the 2016 US presidential election. That loving mother from Langhorne, PA who just wants to see a better world for her grandchildren? Fake news.

Bonus: The Nostalgia Economy. Quartz Ideas ran a series of articles on how nostalgia shapes our world: Paul Smalera on whether your idealized past ever even existed. Adrienne Matei on the etymology of wistful pain. Eileen Reinhard on rock ‘n roll becoming the stuff of academia. Ben Ho on how Hollywood manipulates us with our childhood memories. Jessica Furseth on why millennials love vintage brands. Richard E. Ocejo on why every cool guy wants to be a butcher or a bartender all of a sudden. And James Gleick on how the physics of time travel isn’t just sci-fi.

QUARTZ ANNOUNCEMENT

Collision is back. America’s fastest-growing tech conference is descending upon New Orleans on April 30-May 3—conveniently timed in between the two weekends of Jazz Fest. Come talk shop with the biggest founders and investors in tech, then boogie down with some of the world’s biggest musical acts. We’re offering a chance to attend Collision for free (that includes airfare and flights, too). Enter here.

FIVE THINGS ELSEWHERE THAT MADE US SMARTER

Desperate cancer patients are making their own miracle drugs at home. When out of medical options from their providers, some terminally-ill cancer patients have started making their own immunotherapies in borrowed lab space, Kristen Brown writes for Gizmodo. Most physicians agree that making these sometimes dangerous DIY drugs at home probably won’t work—but they can’t do anything to stop them from trying.

War games. How many nukes will the US have left in the event it needs to decimate North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, and others at the same time? In a striking visual presentation, the New York Times Editorial Board explores this grim scenario by illustrating the incredible size of the US nuclear battery through the context of destruction. It’s display that hits you with cinematic punch: Is this really what it take for Americans to feel safe?

Free-range humans will save the planet. All manner of mammals, birds, trees, insects, and microbes have become stronger because of contact with migrating homo sapiens, contrarian scientist Chris Thomas tells Nautilus for a revealing Q and A in which he posits that the path to true conservation will be cleared only when we stop cordoning off nature from people.

One of the wealthiest families in the US made a fortune on the opioid crisis. The epidemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands since 2000, was created in part by a massive marketing effort by Purdue Pharma, which produces OxyContin. The New England-based company is owned by the Sackler family, which has donated millions to medical groups, the arts, and universities. Patrick Radden Keefe, writing for the New Yorker (paywall) explains the complicated history of a family that has been so generous, yet is also tied to gross addiction and death.

A tale of two economies. Bridgewater hedge fund founder Ray Dalio argues on LinkedIn that the plight of the middle class American is unknowable via “average” statistics. He cuts the economy in two to prove it, and what follows is a grim picture—the bottom 60%, the vast majority of Americans, see flat or falling household incomes, are unlikely to save or contribute to retirement accounts, and die at increasing rates. “The average man,” meanwhile, sees flat mortality, rising wealth and income, and more and more spending on education. Why are the numbers so misleading? The top 40% now have 10 times as much wealth as the bottom 60%.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, free-range humans, and Disney princess costumes to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day, or download our apps for iPhone andAndroid.

CWS Market Review – October 27, 2017

CWS Market Review

October 27, 2017
“Selling your winners and holding your losers is like cutting the
flowers and watering the weeds.” – Peter Lynch

We’re now at the high tide of earnings season, and it’s been a good one for us. So far, we’ve had 13 Buy List earnings reports, and 12 have beaten Wall Street’s estimates.

This week, we had nine earnings reports. I’ll summarize them all in this week’s newsletter. I’ll also preview five more earnings coming next week. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s dive right in.

Sherwin-Williams Beat and Raised Guidance

Let’s start with Tuesday. We had two earnings reports on Tuesday morning. The earnings report from Sherwin-Williams (SHW) is a bit confusing, so I’ll try to clear it up. For Q3, the company earned $3.33 per share, but that figure includes $1.42 per share in acquisition costs. That means Sherwin made $4.75 per share from continuing operations, which beat Wall Street’s estimate of $4.67 per share. Sherwin’s EBITDA from continuing ops is up 9.6% this year, to $1.70 billion.

Sherwin previously said to expect adjusted earnings between $4.80 and $5.20 per share. However, the company estimates that the hurricanes dinged last quarter’s sales by $50 million and EPS by 27 cents per share. Considering all that, this was a decent quarter.

Now for guidance. SHW sees Q4 ranging between $1.97 and $2.27 per share. Adding back 98 cents in acquisition costs, that comes to $2.95 to $3.25 per share.

For all of 2017, Sherwin expects earnings between $11.20 and $11.50 per share. Adding in costs, the range is $14.85 to $15.15 per share. That’s an increase of five cents per share at both ends from their previous guidance. Overall, this was a good quarter for Sherwin. The stock broke out to a new high on Thursday. This week, I’m raising my Buy Below on Sherwin-Williams to $417 per share.

For Q3, Wabtec (WAB) earned 88 cents per share. That beat Wall Street’s estimate of 84 cents per share. I said before that I wanted to see signs of improvement here, and it looks like we got them. Some stats:

Cash from operations was $40 million for the third quarter. For the first nine months of 2017, cash from operations decreased compared to the same period of 2016, mainly due to an increase in working capital.

At Sept. 30, the company had cash of $228 million and debt of $1.9 billion. Total debt was 6 percent lower than at the end of the second quarter.

Wabtec’s multi-year backlog rose 2% to a record $4.5 billion. Their 12-month backlog is up 5% to $2.2 billion, also a record.

Wabtec now expects full-year revenue of $3.8 billion, and EPS between $3.45 and $3.50 per share. That’s a reduction from their previous guidance of $3.55 to $3.70 per share, but I believe the newer figure includes a charge of 18 cents per share.

Shares of WAB gapped up to $82 on Tuesday, but pulled back to $76 later this week. I’m relieved by this report. The stock remains a buy up to $81 per share.

In last week’s issue, I said that Express Script (ESRX) was due to report on Wednesday. I got that wrong. Express Scripts reported after the close on Tuesday. My apologies for the error.

Obviously, the big issue with Express is the loss of Anthem as a client. Still, things are going well for Express. The pharmacy-benefits manager reported Q3 earnings of $1.90 per share, which was three cents better than estimates.

Express also nudged up its 2017 range from $6.95 to $7.05 per share to $6.97 to $7.05 per share. The midpoint represents 10% growth over last year. For Q4, Express expects $2.03 to $2.11 per share. Express Scripts is doing well. I still like the stock but there are a lot of challenges ahead of them.

AFLAC Raised Its Dividend for the 35th Year in a Row

On Wednesday, AFLAC (AFL) beat earnings, raised guidance and increased its dividend for the 35th year in a row. Then on Thursday, the stock touched a new all-time high. Not bad.

The duck stock reported Q3 operating earnings of $1.70 per share. (Remember, with insurance stocks, we always want to look at operating earnings instead of net.) That number includes an after-tax benefit of four cents per share. Also, the yen/dollar exchange rate knocked off seven cents per share last quarter.

AFLAC raised its quarterly dividend by two cents to 45 cents per share. This is the 35th year in a row in which AFL has raised its dividend. Going by Thursday’s close, the new dividend yields 2.15%. AFLAC also raised full-year guidance to $6.75 to $6.95 per share. That’s a big increase over the previous range, which was $6.40 to $6.65 per share. Those numbers don’t include the impact of the yen.

The CEO said that if the yen averages between 110 and 115 to the dollar, then they expect Q4 earnings between $1.42 and $1.66 per share. On Thursday, AFL got to a new all-time high of $85.70 per share. For now, I’m keeping our Buy Below at $86 per share.

We had five more reports on Thursday. First up was Axalta Coating Systems (AXTA). The company earned 26 cents per share for Q3. That’s down from 33 cents per share last year, but it beat estimates by two cents per share. If you recall, a few weeks ago, the company pared back its Q3 guidance due to the hurricanes. To be fair, that’s not a reflection of Axalta’s business execution.

Axalta provides guidance on several metrics except EPS. For 2017, they see net sales growth of 6% to 7%, adjusted EBITDA of $870 million to $900 million and diluted shares outstanding of 246 million. Despite the difficulties Axalta faced, these are good numbers. I’m keeping our Buy Below price at $33 per share.

We got our first earnings miss this season, and it was from Cerner (CERN). The company earned 61 cents per share instead of the 62 cents expected by Wall Street. If a miss had to come from somebody, I guess it can be our #1 stock this year.

So what happened? Cerner blamed it on several large contracts that were expected to be signed in Q3, but were pushed to Q4. I’m not at all worried about a miss of one penny. I’m writing this to you before the market opens on Friday, but shares of CERN got hit by 7% in Thursday’s after-hours market. Of course, that’s traders being traders. Don’t let the selling rattle you. Cerner is doing just fine.

For Q4, the company expects revenue between $1.3 billion and $1.35 billion, and EPS between 60 and 62 cents. They also provide some preliminary numbers for 2018. Cerner sees 2018 sales between $5.5 and $5.7 billion. The midpoint is a 9% increase over this year. For EPS, Cerner sees $2.52 to $2.68. That midpoint would be an increase of 7% over this year. Wall Street had been expecting $2.78 per share.

Expect to see a short-term hit, but remember that Cerner has been a big winner for us this year. I still like this company a lot.

Microsoft Crushes Earnings Again

After the closing bell on Thursday, Microsoft (MSFT) reported fiscal Q1 earnings of 84 cents per share. That easily beat Wall Street’s estimate of 72 cents per share. This was a very good report; Mr. Nadella and his team continue to deliver outstanding results.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Total revenue came in at $24.5 billion, nearly $1 billion more than expected. Revenue from Microsoft’s intelligent cloud business rose 14% to $6.92 billion. The Street had been expecting $6.70 billion. Revenue from Azure rose 90%. Gross margins at Microsoft’s cloud business are running at 57%. That’s very good.

Two years ago, Nadella set a goal for the company of $20 billion in cloud revenue by 2018. They’re very close to hitting that now. At the time Nadella set the goal, Microsoft was doing a little over $6 billion in cloud revenue. This week, I’m raising our Buy Below on Microsoft to $85 per share.

Also on Thursday, Stryker (SYK) reported Q3 earnings of $1.52 per share, two cents better than estimates. That’s an increase of 9.4% over last year. For Q4, they expect $1.92 to $1.97 per share. Wall Street has been expecting $1.93 per share. Stryker sees full-year earnings in the range of $6.45 to $6.50 per share. Forex costs will be about 10 cents per share for the year. SYK was up nicely in Thursday’s after-hours trading.

Lastly, we also got an earnings report from CR Bard (BCR). I wasn’t sure if they were planning on reporting this season, because the merger with BDX should happen soon.

This was another good report for Bard. For Q3, BCR earned $3.02 per share, which was seven cents more than expectations. This is Bard’s last earnings report as an independent company. The company also raised its full-year range to $11.86 to $11.90 per share. That’s an increase of 15 cents to the low end.

Thanks to the rally in BDX, the buyout price for BCR is up to $329.47 per share (based on Thursday’s closing price). The original buyout price in April was $317.

Six Buy List Earnings Reports Next Week

On Tuesday, Halloween, Fiserv (FISV) is set to report. The company missed earnings last time, which is very rare for them. Their full-year 2017 guidance is still $5.03 to $5.17 per share, which is an increase of 14% to 17% over last year. Wall Street is looking for $1.31 per share for Q3.

On Wednesday, Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) and Ingredion (INGR) are scheduled to report. This summer, Cognizant raised its guidance. For Q3, they see earnings of at least 94 cents per share, and full-year earnings of at least $3.67 per share. They should be able to reach both. The stock is up 33% YTD.

Last month, Ingredion gave us a 20% dividend increase. The company sees full-year earnings of $7.50 to $7.80 per share. Wall Street expects $2.02 per share for Q3. They should beat that.

Shares of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) have drifted lower recently. This may come to an end on Thursday when ICE reports earnings. Last report, ICE missed by a penny, but it was their 17th straight quarter of revenue growth. The consensus on Wall Street is for Q3 earnings of 70 cents per share.

I’m also going to mention Becton, Dickinson (BDX), which reports on Thursday. This will be for the fourth quarter of their fiscal year. Three months ago, BDX said they expect quarterly earnings of $2.33 to $2.38 per share.

Full-year earnings should be between $9.42 and $9.47 per share. Not including currency, that would be $9.70 to $9.80 per share.

On Friday, Cinemark (CNK) and Moody’s (MCO) will report earnings. In August, one of Cinemark’s competitors bombed its earnings report, so traders fear the same for CNK. Instead, Cinemark missed by just a penny per share. I’ll note that concession revenue per person, which is the real moneymaker, rose by 8.9%. There have been a lot of stories about low sales at the box office for Hollywood. Wall Street expects 35 cents per share.

In July, Moody’s reported very good earnings, plus they raised guidance. For Q2, the ratings company earned $1.51 per share, which was a 16% increase over last year. That beat expectations by 17 cents per share. Quarterly revenues were up 8% to $1 billion, and operating income rose 12% to $457.5 million.

More importantly, Moody’s raised its full-year guidance range to $5.35 to $5.50 per share. The previous range was $5.15 to $5.30 per share. The consensus is for Q3 earnings of $1.37 per share.

That’s all for now. I’m going to be on the road next week. I hope to get the newsletter out at the regular time, but it may be delayed a day or two. I can’t say yet. Next week will have more earnings. There will also be a Fed meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Don’t expect any movement on interest rates. At least, not yet. Also, the big jobs report will be out next Friday. The unemployment rate is currently at a 16-year low. 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

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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 ten years. This email was sent by Eddy Elfenbein through Crossing Wall Street.

Catalan crisis, Australian shakeup, robotic aquabees

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND

The Catalan crisis comes to a head. Today Spanish lawmakers are expected to pass legislation allowing prime minister Mariano Rajoy to seize control of the insurgent region’s budget, police force, and state-run media. Last night Catalonia’s president, Carles Puigdemont, said he would let the Catalan parliament vote on independence, which it could do today (paywall).

Venezuela might default on its debt. The state-run oil company PDVSA owes $985 million on its 2020 bond today and investors fear the country’s cash-strapped government doesn’t have enough money. The radio silence out of Caracas isn’t helping, and neither is the fact that another bond payment, for $1.2 billion, comes due next week.

Voting resumes in Kenya’s repeat presidential election. In various areas yesterday it was prevented by protestors andpostponed until Saturday. Police used tear gas, three deaths were reported in the city of Kisumu, and opposition supporters—who contend the vote isn’t credible—barricaded polling stations in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.

Apple starts taking iPhone X pre-orders. Customers and media are bracing for a mad retail rush as everyone basically ignores the iPhone 8 (paywall) in favor of its more expensive face-scanning successor, which is expected to be initially in short supply.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Australia’s deputy prime minister was ruled ineligible to remain in parliament. Barnaby Joyce’s status, along with that of six other lawmakers, had been cast into doubt when it was found they were dual citizens, which makes them ineligible for national parliament. Joyce’s departure is no small thing, as prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government will lose its one-seat majority.

James Mattis visited the Korean DMZ. The US defense secretarystopped at the heavily fortified border on the Korean Peninsula ahead of talks today in Seoul. South Korea is pushing for operational control(paywall) of its own forces in the event of a conflict with the North, whereas under existing arrangements the US would command both forces. The trip paves the way for a visit by Donald Trump, whobegins a tour of Asia early next month.

CVS is considering a blockbuster bid for Aetna. The $66 billion deal (paywall) would combine a major drugstore chain with one of the largest US health insurers, and give the merged company more leverage against pharmaceutical companies. CVS also faces anexpected push by Amazon into the pharmacy business.

Alphabet and Amazon posted stellar results. Google’s parent company generated $7.8 billion in quarterly profit on $27.8 billion in revenue, almost entirely from advertising, proving that being a one-trick pony can be a very lucrative business. Amazon’s $256 million profit on $43.7 billion in revenue easily outpaced analyst expectations.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Aamna Mohdin and Jenny Anderson on lessons from a multi-ethnic UK school that could heal a divided nation. “Barking Abbey is a microcosm of Barking itself, which has transformed since the 1990s from a predominately white community to a far more racially diverse one. Over the same period, this one-time bastion of working class Britain has become poorer, and life has become harder for its residents.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Remote meetings are still the worst. Ill-designed tools and short attention spans contribute to an environment ripe for failure.

Facebook owes a debt to the cities it gentrified. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is handing out grants to cities where it has helped to drive up real estate prices.

It’s OK for your kid to dress up as Moana, regardless of race. A knee-jerk response does a disservice to the cause of cultural acceptance.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Front-facing cameras were never intended for selfies. Sony, which introduced the feature, thought it would enhance business meetings.

Neanderthals with disabilities got social services to survive.Scientists’ reanalysis of a 50,000-year-old skull showed that a visually impaired and deaf male lived well into his 40s.

Abandoned land in Japan will be the size of Austria by 2040.Unclaimed land and “ghost homes” can be found all over Japan, thanks to the country’s dwindling population.

Daydreaming may be a sign of greater intelligence. People who reported higher mental walkabouts also scored higher on creativity tests.

Scientists made robotic aquabees to study the ocean. The 175 mg device has wings that both flap and paddle, allowing it to transition from air to water.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Japanese real estate listings, and intelligent daydreams to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.