Murdoch’s engagement and Obama’s Final State of the Union–5 Things to Know Today

January 12, 2016, 11:40 AM UTC
Royals & Celebrities Attend The Rugby World Cup
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 31: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Pool/Indigo/Getty Images)
Photograph by Max Mumby — Indigo/Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are higher this morning, helped by the decision of the Chinese central bank not to let the yuan’s official rate fall any further. However, sentiment remains overwhelmingly negative with regard to the global economy, with only rumors of an emergency OPEC meeting helping crude oil futures to recover from a new 13-year low.

Today’s must-read story is by Fortune Editor-in-Chief Alan Murray on whether or not the U.S. economy is headed for another recession given the stock markets precarious start this year.

Here’s what else you need to know.

1. Rupert Murdoch is getting married

The 18th century English Samuel Johnson, who described second marriages as “the triumph of hope over experience” would be lost for words. The billionaire Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch is getting hitched again, for the fourth time, at the age of 84, to ex-supermodel Jerry Hall (25 years his junior). The couple announced their engagement in the old-fashioned way, through the “Births, Marriages and Deaths” page of The Times of London, one of Murdoch’s own titles.

2. CEO’s #sorrynotsorry puts VW in a spin.

Ever since taking the helm at Volkswagen AG (VLKAY), Matthias Müller has tried hard to appear appropriately contrite in front of the media over the company’s emissions scandal. But in an interview with NPR, the 62 year-old appears to have gone drastically off-message, claiming that the company “didn’t lie” and just didn’t understand the questions the EPA was sending its way. Müller then had a second interview with NPR in which he backtracked.


3. President Obama delivers State of the Union address.

President Barack Obama delivers his eighth and final State of the Union address tonight in Washington at 9 p.m. ET. The speech is not expected to include any major new policy initiatives but will rather focus on delivering a pep talk to a nation that’s faced rising gun violence and a slowly recovering economy while also pushing for another Democratic leader. The address will be streamable both on the White House’s website and on Amazon Video.

4. U.A.E. holds its seventh Energy Forum.

The Energy Forum 2016 kicks off today in Abu Dhabi where Suhail Al Mazrouei, the minister of energy for the United Arab Emirates, and Breitling Energy CEO Chris Faulkner will speak. The one-day conference will discuss the energy outlook as well as how recent international events have affected world oil markets. Oil prices, based on the U.S. benchmark price, hit a 12-year low Monday.

5. More info on the job market.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, better known as JOLTS, today at 10 a.m. ET. The data reflects how willing workers are to quit their jobs, a signal that they are confident they can find another position due to an improving job market. Look for more signs that the labor market is holding steady after Friday’s report that the U.S. economy added a surprising 292,000 jobs in December.

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