Expedia buying Orbitz and a Ukraine ceasefire — 5 things to know today
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Stocks around the world are higher this morning after news of a Ukraine ceasefire.
A truce was declared in eastern Ukraine, and it will take effect Feb. 15, announced Russian President Vladimir Putin. The declaration follows intense discussions by Russian, French, German and Ukrainian leaders. Meanwhile, Greece and EU officials are stuck at an impasse. Greece still refuses to extend the former bailout agreement, while its creditors refuse to consider a new one.
Also of note this morning: Expedia (EXPE) has agreed to purchase rival online travel company Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) in a deal worth about $1.33 billion. And shares of Tesla (TSLA) are getting crushed after the company issued a disappointing earnings report late Wednesday.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Ukraine gets some much-needed funding.
Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund to expand its bailout sum to $40 billion to help the nation avert a default. The 10-month conflict in Ukraine has drained resources and hindered its economy, pushing it into its deepest recession since 2009. The deal must still be approved by the lender’s board, but Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she will recommend the plan. “It’s an ambitious program, it’s a tough program and it’s not without risk,” Lagarde told reporters. “But it’s also a realistic program.”
2. Are consumers still eating their Frosted Flakes and Mac & Cheese?
Kellogg’s (K) and Kraft (KRFT) both report their quarterly earnings today. Kellogg’s is expected to report impressive results as its international expansion more than makes up for declining U.S. sales. A good report would be welcome following the past four quarters of poor results. On the Kraft front, investors are looking forward to hearing from new CEO John Cahill. The maker of Jell-O and Velveeta is expected to report good results, though its struggled recently with low demand as its prices have gone up in order to offset high commodity prices.
3. ‘Nut Rage’ executive gets jail time.
A judge in Seoul sentenced former Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-ah, the daughter of Korean Air’s chairman, to a year in prison for violating aviation laws when she had a temper tantrum over how she was served in-flight macadamia nuts. Cho was upset that she was served the nuts in a bag instead of on a dish. The court said she was responsible for forcing the flight to change its route, forcing a crew member off the plane and hindering the pilot’s duties.
4. Silicon Valley parents aren’t vaccinating their kids.
An investigation into daycare facilities at some of the most prominent Silicon Valley companies found that vaccination rates are worryingly low, according to a Wired report. Half of the 12 daycare facilities analyzed have below-averaged vaccination rates, which could lead to a major outbreak of otherwise preventable diseases like measles. Those facilities lack the “herd immunity” needed for protection. The worst vaccination rates were at Pixar and one of Google’s (GOOG) facilities, where more than 50% of kids weren’t up-to-date on their vaccinations.
5. SpaceX had to abandon the rocket landing.
SpaceX’s DSCOVR launch went off without a hitch, but it couldn’t land its Falcon 9 rocket on an open-ocean barge named “Just Read the Instructions.” The barge, which is floating 370 miles off the coast of Florida, was rocked by heavy seas, making it too difficult to re-land the rocket on the boat. Instead, it made a soft landing into the ocean. The company was making another attempt at re-landing its rockets after the first try ended in flames. If SpaceX can make it work, it could change the economics of rocket launches and make it more accessible. CEO Elon Musk considered the fail good news: