A strong day for US tech, a rogue trader’s tale and how Bond gave Hollywood licence to travel

The daily briefing “FirstFT” from the Financial Times.

Microsoft’s shares hit a 15-year high in after-hours trading on Thursday, as it beat revenue and earnings forecasts in the third quarter and its search engine, Bing, made a profit for the first time.

The results came amid a strong afternoon for Silicon Valley companies as Amazon reported a surprise profit and Alphabet, Google’s new parent company, announced its first ever share buybacks. (FT)

In the news

HSBC looks west Europe’s biggest bank by assets is seriously considering the US for its future headquarters, as it decides whether to shift its base out of the UK. Hong Kong had long been considered the most likely choice but growing concerns about the political risk of the bank ending up under Chinese control have prompted a rethink. (FT)

A rogue trader’s tale During his nearly four years in prison, the man who lost UBS $2.3bn began writing to the FT’s Lindsay Fortado. Now out, and facing deportation, he tells her that he’s sorry — but that the pressures on traders remain. Podcast: The crime and punishment of Kweku Adoboli (FT)

ECB opens door to December stimulus The European Central Bank signalled it would expand its €1.1tn quantitative easing programme in December and cut its deposit rate should the slowdown in emerging markets threaten the eurozone recovery. (FT)

Russia beefs up Kurils presence Moscow has announced plans to expand its military presence on the Kuril Islands, an archipelago that lies just off the north-eastern coast of Japan and which is claimed by Tokyo. According to Russian media reports, the islands already host 3,500 troops, T-80 tanks, as well as submarines. (BBC)

Less a hearing, more a ‘shouting’ Hillary Clinton defended herself against heavy criticism from Republican congressmen during a hearing about the 2012 attacks on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The 11-hour hearing provided ample opportunity for political grandstanding for members of both parties, with Democrats decrying the entire investigation as a partisan witch hunt. (FT)

It’s a big day for

Procter & Gamble The consumer goods group reports earnings amid a sales slump, and ascalls for structural change — and even its break-up — grow louder. (FT)

Read more about upcoming events this week.

Food for thought

The life and death of an Amazon warehouse temp Jeff Lockhart Jr, a 29-year-old father of three, worked as a “picker” at one of the ecommerce group’s fulfilment centres in Virginia. One winter morning after 2am, he collapsed in aisle A-215. At 4:06am he was pronounced dead. A deep dive into the dark side of ecommerce, and what the future of low-wage work really looks like. (HuffPo)

How Bond gave Hollywood licence to travel With most of his time spent drinking in bars or destroying precious cultural sites, James Bond is actually a terrible sightseer. Yet 007 has been travelling the world for decades and his adventures have taught Hollywood an important lesson: to conquer the global box office, you need a few stamps in your passport. (The Guardian)

Panic on the streets of London Newly opened cold war archives have revealed the astonishment — and panic — within Whitehall at the news of a hydrogen bomb test by the US in 1952. The bomb — 1,000 times as powerful as the Nagasaki explosion — sparked fears among the UK’s security mandarins that the Soviet Union would develop its own — and London would be first in the line of fire. (FT)

‘All Germans look like that’ A Hong Kong company could be facing a lawsuit from Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger after making a Nazi doll that bears a striking resemblance to the German player. The company defended the doll, named Bastian, by saying : “We thought that all Germans look like that. Bastian is also a very common name in Germany.” (BBC)

Sorry, Einstein — ‘spooky action’ is real Dutch scientists say they have proved one of the most fundamental claims of quantum theory — that objects separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behaviour. Albert Einstein had rejected the idea as “spooky action at a distance”. (NYT)

Video of the day

Draghi reloads bazooka Mario Draghi struck a dovish note in Thursday’s ECB rate decision press conference, in spite of the region’s recovering economy. Roger Blitz, currencies correspondent, and economics correspondent Ferdinando Giugliano discuss Super Mario’s reloading of his monetary bazooka. (FT)

This article is published in collaboration with FirstFT. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: FirstFT is the Financial Times’ editors curated free daily email of the top global stories from the FT and the best of the rest of the web.

Image: A man walks over a chalk sign advertising Microsoft. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson. 

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