Good morning, friends and Fortune readers.
The big news of the morning was fairly east to predict — when the world’s biggest retailer reports earnings, it’s going to be news. In other happenings today, Berkshire Hathaway has bought a battery maker, and your favorite tech CEO turned NBA team owner Steve Ballmer will be taking questions on Reddit this afternoon. Also, markets are up across Europe. Here’s what else you need to know.
1. Wal-Mart’s sales are up
The Arkansas chain beat earnings estimates and posted a small same store sales increase. The bad news? Wal-Mart (WMT) is forecasting that it might miss earnings estimates for the year. The company is expecting earnings per share for the year to be between $4.92 and $5.02, compared with estimates of $4.99.
2. Berkshire goes for batteries
Consumer products giant Proctor & Gamble (PG) is getting rid of one iconic brand — battery company Duracell — in a deal with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway that has been valued at $4.7 billion. The move comes less than a month after the consumer-products giant said it would shed the asset.
3. Oil prices continue to slip
The price of Brent crude oil has fallen below $80 for the first time since 2010, according to Reuters. The reason? OPEC warned of a drop in demand, which was only confirmed by reports of a slowdown in the Chinese economy.
4. Toys and movies? What a combo!
The marketing possibilities seem endless. Reports say toy company Hasbro (HAS) is in talks to by animation company DreamWorks (DWA), maker of the popular Shrek series. According to The Wall Street Journal, Hasbro has been considering getting into the film business for years.
5. Triple Elvis rakes in the dough
It was a big night at Christie’s auction house yesterday, as Andy Warhol’s famous picture of three gun-toting Elvis Presleys brought in a whopping bid of around $82 million. Eighty works went up for sale last night, including another Warhol, this one of actor Marlon Brando.