Less people are coming to visit the US; Does Apple have a quarter trillion in cash?; Venezuela hikes minimum wage again

Profitable Moment
 

Keep your seat belt fastened

When an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Bangkok hit air turbulence, 27 passengers were injured, some seriously. The flight was 40 minutes or so from landing, so there were bound to be casualties, with passengers waiting to use the lavatories and re-stowing hand baggage. Others were hurt just because they did not have their seat belts fastened.

On a plane you are like an egg in a metal bottle, jolted about if you are not secured. The plane has to only drop 100 feet, but it will feel like 1,000 feet and you will hit the ceiling and fall back onto the cabin floor. 

Changes in air pressure, can cause a plane to bounce about in the sky. The wings will flex, the engines will look like they are about to break off, the fuselage will shudder and shake. The plane won’t break apart or collapse. You, on the other hand, are not built for this and will break open. 

Keep your seat belt fastened, even when the seat belt sign is off. 

Richard.Quest@cnn.com 

What’s new… what’s next
 

By Patrick Gillespie, Matt Egan, Julia Horowitz and Paul R. La Monica of CNNMoney

1. Can live video (and Trump) save Twitter?

Twitter is no longer a dead bird walking. Or is it flying? Shares of Twitter surged, thanks to a new deal it forged with Bloomberg. The two will partner on a 24/7 streaming video news service. Live news and sports events helped Twitter report a surprise jump in monthly active users when it posted its latest earnings. It also probably doesn’t hurt that President Trump loves to tweet to the more than 45 million users of his @realdonaldtrump and @POTUS accounts.

2. Is France’s Le Pen going soft on euro threat?

Wall Street has been alarmed by French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s threats to dump the euro. Such a move could destabilize the entire eurozone and financial markets more broadly. But Le Pen has abruptly toned down her rhetoric, now saying that ditching the common currency is “not a prerequisite" for her economic plans. The shift comes as Le Pen tries to win Sunday’s runoff election against a much more moderate Emmanuel Macron.

3. Global fears are hurting these vacation spots

It’s getting harder and harder to find a worry-free vacation destination. Terrorism, political instability and Trump administration policies are keeping huge numbers of tourists from taking traditional trips. International visits to Western Europe were down in 2016, and the number of international visitors in the Middle East fell 4%. One study forecasts a 10.6 million decline in visitors to the U.S. this year and next. The drop would cost the U.S. economy more than $18 billion.

4. Venezuela hikes minimum wage 60% 

It may sound like a big boost for Venezuelans who struggle with constant shortages of food, as well as skyrocketing prices for what food is available. But the government’s minimum wage hike won’t help its citizens much: Inflation is expected to rise 720% this year and over 2,000% in 2018, according to the IMF. If accurate, inflation will quickly wipe out any gains from the wage hike. President Nicolas Maduro is battling opposition leaders who have protested for much of April. Dueling violent protests have left dozens dead. 

5. Quick Takes:

Good news for the U.S. economy. Manufacturing is making a comeback

Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches secretive spy satellite for the U.S. government

Despite tough talk from Trump. U.S. will pay for defense system in South Korea

Oil giant Saudi Aramco to take 100% control of a sprawling refinery in Texas

India’s Netflix has plans to take Bollywood movies global

This angry Wells Fargo shareholder is just getting started

Ben Bernanke calls Trump’s 3% growth goal a “long shot"

UK says Facebook and Google must tackle hate speech

North Korea is cut off by India — the country’s third largest trading partner

Indian airline pilots don’t want to fly with expats who make more than them

6. What’s next:

 ‘Healthy’ earnings on tap? Health care is front and center on Tuesday morning as quarterly numbers are due out from Aetna, CVS Health and drug giants Merck and Pfizer. What will execs say about the lingering question marks over the future of Obamacare and Trump’s promises to cut drug prices? Coach, ConocoPhillips and MasterCard are also expected to post earnings before the opening bell.

Will auto sales rev back up? The US auto industry hit a bit of a speed bump in March, raising concerns on Wall Street. Investors are hoping for signs of a rebound when GM, Ford, Toyota and other major auto makers reveal April figures on Tuesday.

All eyes on Apple: The world’s biggest company hits the earnings stage after Tuesday’s closing bell. Everyone wants to know how many iPhones Apple sold and for details on the next version of the phone. Wall Street will also be paying attention to whether Apple’s treasure trove of cash and investments sitting on its balance sheet exceeds the $250 billion level.

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