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Toshiba scandal and Apple’s earnings–five things to know today

July 21, 2015, 10:46 AM UTC

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are mixed this morning, while commodity prices remain under pressure after Monday’s ‘flash crash’ in gold.

Today’s must-read story is by Airbnb executive Nathan Blecharczyk on what Cuba’s economy needs most now. On Monday, the American flag will stand on Cuban soil for the first time since 1961, and Blecharczyk looks at what we can do to support local entrepreneurs on the island.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Toshiba’s CEO steps down after accounting scandal

One of the biggest corporate governance scandals in Japan’s history claimed the scalp of CEO and president Hisao Tanaka. Tanaka said he would step down after a report into the company’s accounting found it had overstated profits by over $1 billion over the last six years.

2. How well is the Apple Watch selling?

Apple (AAPL) reports its third-quarter earnings today after the market close. Professional and amateur analysts alike foresee a positive result for the tech giant, despite a recent report from research firm Slice Intelligence that said sales of the Apple Watch have slipped since its April launch. Though, another analysis showed that customer satisfaction with the gadget is off the charts. The device was the first all-new product launched since Tim Cook took over as CEO. According to a consensus estimate from nearly 450 mostly anonymous amateur Apple analysts, the company is expected to report earnings of $1.86 a share last quarter, up 45% year-over-year.


3. A Microsoft update.

The world’s largest software company will also reveal its quarterly earnings, though it likely won’t leave its investors as thrilled as Apple’s shareholders. Microsoft (MSFT) is expected to post a drop in fiscal fourth-quarter sales given declining demand for its operating system as PC users wait for the release of Windows 10 in late July. The company has been shifting its focus to its cloud-related offerings under CEO Satya Nadella, while also looking to turn the tide on its core Windows business which has faced waning sales. Microsoft also announced another round of massive layoffs in early July–the second since Nadella took over the top post in February 2014.

4. Verizon’s new media push.

Verizon Communications (VZ), a Dow component, is also up to report quarterly earnings today. Look out for more information on its new push into mobile video and targeted advertising on the eve of its new online video service launch in partnership with AwesomenessTV and DreamWorks Animation (DWA). The new media for the telecommunications giant are meant to unlock new revenue streams, though investors will keep a keen eye out for what this is costing Verizon as competition heats up in the wireless industry. Also, listen for more details on its recent $4.4 billion purchase of AOL in June.

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5. Yahoo’s Alibaba plan.

Yahoo (YHOO) rounds out a full-day of tech company earnings when it reports its second-quarter earnings after the market close. The online search and advertising company is expected to show earnings of 18 cents a share, down from 37 cents a share a year earlier. Yahoo has been struggling to keep up with competitors like Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) by pursuing acquisitions and product revamps, though those efforts haven’t reversed its fortunes. Yahoo’s stock is down more than 20% so far this year. Investors will be searching for more answers as to how the company plans to spin off its $30 billion stake in Alibaba (BABA), which is responsible for nearly three-quarters of Yahoo’s market value.