☕️ Oscars so awkward

How the US will help India...
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April 26, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

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Good morning. ICYMI: Saturday Night Live announced Elon Musk will be hosting the show on May 8, making him the first Twitter comedian to achieve such a coveted gig.

MARKETS YTD PERFORMANCE

 
Nasdaq
+8.76%
14,016.81
S&P
+11.29%
4,180.17
Dow
+11.23%
34,043.49
Bitcoin
+75.44%
$50,880.66
10-Year
+64.6 bps
1.565%
Oil
+27.79%
$62.00
 

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 9:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Are we in a bubble? "The price of lumber has shot up to all-time highs. Residential home sales in the US are at levels last seen in 2006, before the housing bubble collapsed. And stocks are on a tear," writes the WSJ. Suppose we'll find out.
  • Covid: Americans who have been fully vaccinated will be able to travel to EU countries this summer, the president of the European Commission told the NYT. Can't wait to put all the new languages we learned over the pandemic into practice. 

ADVERTISING

Tracker no Tracking

Facebook and apple

Francis Scialabba

This week, Apple is rolling out its iOS 14.5 software update for iPhone users, including...

  • The ability to unlock phones with your face while wearing a mask
  • 217 new emoji to express emotions you didn't even know you had
  • Support for the new AirTag Bluetooth device tracker 

But there's one particular iOS 14.5 update that's less "oh neat!" and more "this could shake up the $105 billion mobile ad industry." 

It's called App Tracking Transparency

With this new feature, apps will be required to ask for your permission to track your activity across the internet. That data is crucial to advertisers who want to use your internet history to show you ads you're more likely to click on. 

  • Problem for advertisers is, when you ask someone whether they want to be tracked or not, the majority say no. 

So why is Apple doing it? It's part of CEO Tim Cook's push to add more privacy features to Apple's ecosystem. Here's Cook at a privacy conference in January:

  • "Technology does not need vast troves of personal data, stitched together across dozens of websites and apps, in order to succeed."
  • "If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform."

Sound like a business you know? 

Facebook took to App Tracking Transparency like a foot to a stray Lego piece. In a PR blitz following Apple's announcement, it argued that small businesses would be hurt without the ability to send users targeted FB ads. Whether Facebook's ad biz will be dinged as much as it says it will is unclear, but other apps like Snap and Bumble have warned that Apple's moves could be harmful.

Bottom line: Apple's aggressive privacy measures are putting competitors on the back foot, but they could also invite even more antitrust scrutiny to its dominance of the app economy. 

        

COVID

US, European Allies Pledge to Help India

Indian hospital

Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After taking a mostly "not my problem" approach to India's brutal second wave of the coronavirus, yesterday the US said help was on the way. It pledged to send therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and PPE, as well as the raw materials required to produce AstraZeneca's vaccine. 

  • Other countries including the UK, France, Germany, and Pakistan are also sending supplies.

The situation is desperate: On Sunday, coronavirus cases in India climbed to a record high for the fourth straight day. Reports describe patients dying in hospitals due to lack of oxygen and funeral pyres lighting up the sky. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the second wave, fueled by the variant B1617, had "shaken the nation." 

One action the US has not taken is to send India the AstraZeneca vaccines it had stockpiled. Yesterday, Dr. Fauci said releasing those vaccines, which are not yet approved in the US, is going to be "something that is up for active consideration."

        

ENTERTAINMENT

Well...That Was Weird

Oscars sign

Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Last night, the 93rd Academy Awards gave us an awkward moment to nearly rival Adele Dazeem or the La La Land/Moonlight mixup.

What happened: While typically the Best Picture category closes out the show, the producers swapped the order so that Best Actor would go last. The late Chadwick Boseman was the odds-on favorite to win the award, in which case the event would close on a poignant note. But he didn't win—Anthony Hopkins did—and Hopkins wasn't even in attendance. So the entire show ended as abruptly as a Zoom meeting. 

Of course, that wasn't the only notable thing about last night's Oscars, which was hosted in a number of locations including Union Station, LA's iconic transportation hub. 

  • Nomadland had a big night. It won Best Picture and Chloé Zhao became the first woman of color to win Best Director. Zhao is only the second woman ever to win the award, after Kathryn Bigelow earned it for The Hurt Locker in 2010.
  • Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to win an Oscar for makeup and hairstyling for their work in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Zoom out: Typically, Oscar season means big box office bumps for nominees and winners, but with many movie theaters under Covid restrictions the eight Best Picture nominees' total earnings have barely hit $35 million.

        

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GRAB BAG

Key Performance Indicators

New Zealand concert

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Quote: "So, what's up, Eden Park?" 

Singer Matiu Walters of the band Six60 addressed a crowd of more than 50,000 in New Zealand Saturday night, the largest concert anywhere since the pandemic started. 

Stat: Almost 8% of Americans who received their first Pfizer or Moderna vaccine missed their next shot. 

Read: How bitcoin, Ethereum, and other technologies could point the way to new systems of governance. (City Journal)

        

CALENDAR

The Packed Week Ahead

Biden watch: On Wednesday, the president will address a joint session of Congress. He's expected to outline his American Families Plan, which will reportedly be paid for by tax hikes on wealthy Americans' capital gains.  

Fed meeting: Before Biden speaks, Wednesday afternoon Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference following the Fed's meeting. No big policy changes are expected. 

Economic data: Watch out for the Q1 GDP number on Thursday and inflation data on Friday. 

Earnings: It's a monster week, with a third of the S&P 500 reporting results for the previous quarter. Highlights include Tesla, Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple, Boeing, Facebook, Amazon, McDonald's, and Twitter. 

Everything else:

  • The NFL Draft is on Thursday. And good news, everyone: Commissioner Roger Goodell has been fully vaccinated and can hug the players who attend, per Adam Schefter. 
  • Friday is Biden's 100th day in office.
  • And on Saturday…

 

        

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • President Biden officially declared the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire a "genocide." The declaration is expected to test the US' relationship with Turkey.
  • 11 astronauts are now on the International Space Station after a SpaceX capsule docked on Saturday. It's the biggest ISS population in more than a decade.
  • At least 82 people were killed at a Covid-19 hospital in Baghdad after an oxygen tank exploded and set the building on fire.
  • The CEO of Cameo on the new game of fame.
  • The Battle of the Joshes was fought in Lincoln, NE, over the weekend.

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Dive back into the week:

GAMES

Best for Last

We'll give you a last name, you have to pick the country where it's the most popular last name.

  1. Kim 
  2. Martin 
  3. Da Silva 
  4. Andersson 
  5. Ali 
  6. Murphy 

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ANSWER

  1. Kim = South or North Korea
  2. Martin = France
  3. Da Silva = Brazil
  4. Andersson = Sweden
  5. Ali = there are a few, including Somalia and Libya
  6. Murphy = Ireland

If you want to learn more about last names around the world, this is an amazing resource.

              

Written by Matty Merritt and Neal Freyman

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