Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Happy Friday, as always. Bit of heavy stuff today, so let’s get right to it with five things you need to know today.
1. International crises could roil the markets again.
Yesterday was a pretty busy day in terms of major international events. In case you missed it all, here’s a quick update: trouble flared up first in the Ukraine, where a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed. U.S. intelligence blamed it on a ground-to-air missile. Next, things got heated in the Middle East as Israel launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. The increased geopolitical turmoil weighed on the U.S. markets Thursday, pulling the Dow below 17,000 to its biggest one-day slide in two months. So far today, U.S. markets appear calm, and the European exchanges have rebounded this morning. Still, further developments in either story could have huge impacts, so be on the lookout.
2. FedEx is facing drug trafficking charges.
Yes, you read that right. The delivery company has reportedly been indicted in San Francisco for working with illegal Internet pharmacies to deliver prescription drugs. “FedEx knew that it was delivering drugs to dealers and addicts,” the Justice Department said in a press release. That’s not good.
3. How happy are American consumers?
The latest poll of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan and Thompson Reuters will come out this morning, and it is expected to increase modestly. This would mean that consumer confidence is nearing pre-recession levels, according to MarketWatch.
4. Alibaba is low-balling its IPO price.
Bloomberg News is reporting that Alibaba will be offering IPO shares at around 22% below analysts’ expectations. Why would a company decrease its potential profits? Because it wants to avoid a huge flop and decrease in share price when trading begins — and, likely, the negative press that would come with it. Just ask Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg about that.
5. Toast selfies are now a thing.
Do you constantly take selfies? Are you so narcissistic that you would literally like to eat yourself? Well, now you can, thanks to a toaster that prints your face on your morning sustenance. Have a good weekend.