Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are edging higher this morning. European shares are mostly flat in mid-day trading, while Asian indexes ended mixed.
Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. George Soros says Greece has a 50-50 chance.
Billionaire investor George Soros says there’s a 50-50 chance that Greece will leave the euro. He also warned that the country could go “down the drain” and the negotiations with the rest of the eurozone are a “lose-lose game.” Soros offered his opinion in a Bloomberg television interview that will air today. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is still working to persuade creditors to provide more bailout funds to keep the struggling nation afloat. Tsipras’ government is expected to share an overhaul proposal with it’s euro partners by Monday.
2. In Europe, manufacturing nears a four-year high.
The Markit preliminary purchasing managers’ index rose to 54.1 in March from 53.3 in February, marking a near four-year high. That’s significantly above the 50.0 mark that separates manufacturing expansion from contraction. The expansion in commercial activity last month was much higher than anticipated and signals that the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program is already kicking in to help boost the economy.
3. Silicon Valley’s gender discrimination suit heads to closing arguments.
The Ellen Pao trial has captivated Silicon Valley over the past several weeks and is now coming to a head as lawyers on both sides of the gender-discrimination lawsuit get ready to begin their closing arguments. Pao is suing venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, her former employer, for $16 million in lost wages and as much as $144 million in damages. She claims that the firm was a boys’ club that favored men for promotions while women floundered in lower and less remunerative roles.
4. Facebook looks to partner with media companies.
Facebook (FB) has been secretly meeting with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their articles within the Facebook ecosystem rather than making its 1.4 billion users click a link that goes to an external site, reported the New York Times. Such a partnership would represent a shift by media companies, which have traditionally preferred to keep readers within their own sites in order to collect valuable data and deliver views for their own advertising. Facebook has been trying to calm those fears by proposing that media outlets could make money from advertising on its site that runs with the content. The social media site plans to start testing the new setup in the next several months.
5. Beijing will close its last major coal-fired power plant.
China’s capital city is trying to contain its pollution problem and plans to close the last of its four major coal-fired power plants next year. The four power plants will be replaced by gas-fired stations that will be able to provide 2.6 times more electricity. China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter, and Beijing is one of the hardest hit cities where pollution levels averaged more than twice China’s national standard last year. The move to close the plants is part of a broader trend in the nation to address environmental damage. Beijing intends to slash annual coal consumption by 13 million metric tons by 2017 from its 2012 levels.