What to watch for today
Can the UK grow any faster? The United Kingdom reports its first quarter GDP. Analysts predict the economy grew at 0.3% after chugging along at 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012. But the fear of a triple-dip recession lingers.
Looking for some new debt? Buy Rwandan! The African country will price $400 million in 10-year bonds on the open markets today. Investors believe that it could yield less than 7%, a level Spanish bond yields surpassed last year.
More Brazilians out of work. March unemployment data comes out today; the level has been slowly rising for the past few months, hitting 5.6% in February. But even in Brazil’s sluggish economy that’s still enough low to push up inflation.
Hollande starts a two-day trip to China. The French president is the first western head of state of visit Beijing since the new government took over. As the state news agency puts it, his “appearance will surely boost mutual political trust, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between China and France.“
Another big day for earnings: Exxon, Volvo, Bayer, Dow Chemical, Gazprom, Banco Santander, UPS, Unilever, Vale, Baidu, and Amazon all report today.
While you were sleeping
A bit of a comeback for South Korea. First quarter GDP was up 0.9% on the previous three months and a solid 1.5% on the same period last year, a two-year high that exceeded expectations and surprised the central bank.
Beer lost its fizz. Revenues for the first quarter rose 8% at Heineken to €4.1 billion ($5.4 billion) but fell below consensus as Europeans and Nigerians drank less beer.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was known to the authorities last year. His name was entered into a terrorism database after a four-month investigation in 2011.
Taiwan confirmed the first case of H7N9 bird flu outside of mainland China. Details of the case suggest that the disease could have passed from human to human.
Fiat eyed the rest of Chrysler and a US stock listing. The birth of the world’s seventh-largest auto group?
Starbucks waged war on US taxes. It wants to protect and expand tax breaks (paywall) on foreign earnings, even after a high-profile tax quarrel in the UK.
Quartz obsession interlude
Todd Woody on how California’s dream to be the Saudi Arabia of solar is drying up in the desert. “So why are big solar thermal projects in the desert fizzling, while installations of rooftop photovoltaic panels in cities and suburbs continue to set records? It’s all about money, technology and location, location, location.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
A “stealth war” to export deflation. Will victory bring back growth?
George Osborne has a bone to pick with Reinhart and Rogoff. Who should take the blame for losing the UK’s triple A rating?
21st century superheros: central bankers.
Life on Earth may be older than Earth itself.
Virgin America promotes “mile-high flirting.” As if flying wasn’t already stressful enough.
Pig Latins of other languages. It’s not just English that can be made to sound like nonsense.
US psychiatrists spend an average of 38 minutes getting patients admitted to the hospital. Even when they’re at risk of committing suicide or homicide.
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