Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are lower again Thursday under fresh pressure from European markets battered by the scandal over Volkswagen’s diesel emissions, which many expect to spread to the rest of the sector, with negative consequences for the European economy. The dollar is lower against the euro, while crude oil futures are struggling below $45 after news a sharp rise in U.S. gasoline inventories last week.
Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Shawn Tully and it looks at how Southwest Airlines (LUV) has recently strayed from the nonconformist strategy that made it one of the airline industry’s biggest successes.
Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. Volkswagen cheated in Europe too
It was already implicit in Tuesday’s announcement that 11 million cars ran the same engine as the one fingered by the EPA, but Germany’s Transport Minister said early findings from his investigation showed VW was up to the same tricks in Europe. That exposes to a whole host of new legal risks, and means it’s less likely than ever that the reputational damage can be confined to the U.S., where the story broke.
2. Nike earnings
Nike (NKE) reports first-quarter earnings today and the athletic apparel giant is expected to outpace analysts’ forecasts for revenue and profit. An expanded presence in China, along with increased pricing in North America and the popularity of “athleisure” apparel likely bolstered the company’s results. Nike recently signed a new deal worth a reported $1 billion to become the official provider of uniforms to the NBA, starting in 2017.
3. Janet Yellen speech
The Federal Reserve chain will speak today at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Yellen’s speech will be monitored closely for any additional context regarding the central bank’s decision last week to not raise U.S. interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Yellen may shed some light on the Fed’s thinking about the trajectory of the U.S. economy and the possible timing of an eventual rate hike ahead of next month’s Fed meeting.
4. Weekly jobless claims
The Labor Department is expected to report a spike in the number of Americans who filed new applications for unemployment benefits last week, with the number likely rising by 7,000 to 271,000 claims. Jobless claims fell to an eight-week low of 264,000 in the previous week.
5. Accenture benefits from consulting demand
Accenture (ACN), the Dublin-based outsourcing and consulting company, reports fourth-quarter results today. The company is expected to have benefitted from strong client demand in North America, which spurred Accenture to increase its full-year revenue forecast over the summer. Investors will be interested in how the company’s digital business has fared.
— Reuters contributed to this post.