By Laura Lorenzetti
March 31, 2015

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street futures are slightly lower this morning as the Standard & Poor’s Index pares its ninth straight quarterly gain. European indexes are also gaining in mid-day trading, while Asian shares closed mixed.

Here’s what else you need to know to start your day.

1. Meet the new Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.

Yoox, the Milan-based retailer, acquired Net-a-Porter for a cool $775 million to create the world’s largest online luxury-goods retailer. The deal will give Financiere Richemont, the Geneva-based owner of Net-a-Porter and luxury brands Cartier and Chloe, a 50% stake in the combined company which will have $1.4 billion in annual revenue. Online luxury retailing has become heated as department stores move into e-commerce, even Amazon.com has launched a dedicated section on its site. Neiman Marcus Group bought Mytheresa.com in September.

2. IBM is going big into the Internet of Things.

The tech giant will commit $3 billion to develop a new Internet of Things unit, which seeks to make everything from smartphones to jet engines smarter and more connected. IBM (IBM) is looking to get ahead in the burgeoning industry and is looking to provide a common platform that businesses and developers can use to take advantage of the huge amount of data output by these devices. Big Blue’s not alone: It will go head-to-head with GE (GE), which has invested in its own Internet of Things initiative called Predix.

3. President Obama details how the U.S. will trim its emissions.

The U.S. has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 28% as part of a global treaty aimed at curbing climate change. President Obama will detail how the nation will be able to meet those targets, which will be finalized in a United Nations treaty in December. So far, the EU, Switzerland and Mexico have also committed to the emissions cuts, and the U.S. hopes that its early support will dial up the political pressure on other nations to commit to similar cuts.

4. Alibaba teams up with music heavyweight BMG.

China’s Alibaba Group (BABA) signed a digital distribution deal with Germany’s BMG music rights company on Monday. The world’s largest e-commerce firm has been pushing its way into digital entertainment with its streaming services featuring music, movies and television. The deal will give Alibaba access to more than 2.5 million copyrights and will bulk up its current catalog, which already includes songs from artists like Kylie Minogue and the Rolling Stones.

5. How pricey are U.S. homes these days?

The S&P Case-Shiller home price index is released today at 9 a.m. ET and will reveal the state of current home prices in 20 U.S. cities. The data will likely show that prices accelerated in January from a month earlier. The Federal Reserve will be watching the data closely as it determines when to raise interest rates. U.S. home prices have surpassed wage gains 13 to 1 over the past two years. Wages grew by 1.3% from 2012 to 2014 while housing prices jumped 17% over that same period, according to RealtyTrac.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

You May Like

EDIT POST