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Apr 26, 2019

What's News I Amazon Revenue Jumps; First-Quarter GDP; Celebrity Vacation Encounters

The Wall Street Journal.
What’s News
Sun icon. Good Morning
Here’s what we’re watching as the U.S. business day gets under way:
Amazon revenue jumps, but growth continues to slow. The online retailer reported that its first-quarter profit more than doubled to $3.56 billion, well above analysts' consensus estimate. At the same time, revenue growth slowed for a fourth-straight period, in part because of weak international sales. The slip was not a blip, writes Heard on the Street's Dan Gallagher.
  • Another big day in earnings ahead. Oil giants Exxon and Chevron will report numbers before the bell, as well as American Airlines. 
Deutsche Bank cuts revenue target a day after merger talks fail. The German bank cut its full-year revenue target to “essentially flat” from 2018 in quarterly results, a day after saying it ended merger talks with smaller rival Commerzbank. With the deal dead, Deutsche Bank urgently needs fresh answers, Paul J. Davies writes for Heard on the Street.
Uber lowers its valuation target—again. The ride-hailing giant ratcheted down its target valuation to a range of roughly $80 billion to $90 billion as it readies an initial public offering. Lead underwriters Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs last year pitched a possible valuation of as much as $120 billion. 
Renault to propose merging with Nissan. The French automaker plans to propose merging with its Japanese partner in an alliance strained by the crisis surrounding former leader Carlos Ghosn. Under the proposal, Nissan shareholders and Renault shareholders would each receive a roughly 50% stake in the new company
China vows new direction for Belt and Road Initiative. President Xi Jinping pledged that China would ensure the financial sustainability of infrastructure projects overseas, as he sought to assuage foreign critics who blame Beijing for pushing excessive lending onto developing economies.
Sri Lanka bombings put focus on Islamist preacher. While authorities in Sri Lanka try to unravel the suicide-bombing plot that killed over 200 people on Easter Sunday, a local preacher who promoted hard-line Islamist views in fiery online sermons has been a focus of attention.
Trump to address the NRA's annual convention. The president is likely to receive a rousing reception despite some dissatisfaction with his gun-control record. The only major action Mr. Trump has taken on gun control since being elected was to ban bump stocks—the first time that the federal government has required a gun or gun accessory to be turned over or destroyed en masse in more than 50 years, according to gun historians.
First-quarter gross domestic data on tap. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate GDP grew at a 2.5% annual rate in the quarter, which would mark the economy’s strongest performance in the January-to-March period since 2015.

‘Avengers: Endgame’: A marvelous wrap. WSJ's Joe Morgenstern says that the power of friendship supercharges the heroic finale of Marvel's series. The movie, which will play in more than 4,600 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, is prompting 24-hour screenings

What's Trending

The profitable pastime of becoming an IRS snitch. These are boom times for snitches who turn in tax cheats to Uncle Sam, writes the Journal's Laura Saunders. The IRS awarded more than $312 million to whistleblowers last year, including close to $100 million to a single tipster. 
Homeownership drops for the first time in two years. The homeownership rate fell to 64.2% in the first quarter from 64.8% in the fourth quarter—a notable drop for a number that barely moves from one quarter to the next. After more than a decade of declines, the rate had been reliably on the upswing since the beginning of 2017.
Turnover hits Apple's famed industrial design team. The team is undergoing its most pronounced turnover in decades, marking a changing of the guard for the group that has defined the tech giant’s aesthetic and spearheaded the development of products including the iPhone.
New vacation perk: celebrity encounters. To let tourists come home with bragging rights, the travel industry and fundraisers are selling access to celebs, rockers, athletes and a whole host of boldfaced names.
Kyler Murray goes No. 1 in the NFL draft. The Arizona Cardinals selected the Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback first overall—a bold move after taking quarterback Josh Rosen in the first round last season. Seven of the top 10 picks were defensive players.
A Boston sports apocalypse is brewing. The city has a chance at winning four major sports championships in a row. It would be historic. And perhaps, historically galling, writes the Journal's Jason Gay.
The humble stethoscope gets a high-tech makeover. A startup called Eko and a handful of cardiologists are using artificial intelligence in an effort to improve the 200-year-old tool.

Chart of the Day

Detroit's next big idea: smaller SUVs. As the sedan’s popularity fades in the U.S., auto makers have rushed to introduce cheaper, more diminutive sport-utility vehicles to their lineups, in some cases targeting young drivers yet attracting their parents.

This Day in History

April 26, 1960
South Korea President Resigns After Revolution
President Syngman Rhee resigned following massive nationwide protests against his authoritarian regime. Rhee, who had been in power since 1948, was exiled to Hawaii where he died in 1965.
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Todd Olmstead in London

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