Five Things to Watch: Steve Jobs and More
Juxtapositions galore. Apple gets ready to debut its iCloud, while everyone else's cloud gets hacked. Portuguese elections set the stage for austerity, while austerity rocks Greece. Here's what we're watching...
Jobs' Return: All eyes will be on stage in San Francisco Monday, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivers the keynote at the company's developers conference. In a break from form, Apple announced its agenda, declaring that Mr. Jobs will present new versions of the company's Mac and mobile operating systems as well as introduce the much-anticipated iCloud. What we don't know are the essential nuances of how iCloud will operate, what its business model looks like, and what content will be immediately available to consumers. Of course, the most important questions for investors surround Jobs, whose health forced him to take yet another medical leave at the beginning of the year.
Austerity in Action: At least 80,000 Greeks aren't in favor of the newest austerity measures advancing through the legislative process. That's how many protesters took to the streets of Athens Sunday night in protest, marking the latest note of discord in the country's marathon (no pun intended) to avoid a debt default. On the other side of Europe, Portugal's Social Democrats won Sunday's general election, unseating the ruling Socialists. Outside observers expect that an anticipated coalition government will be able to enact essential austerity measures promptly. Who knows if protests will follow in Lisbon? At home, what we do know is that markets are trying to shake off a rocky last week. News from Europe will certainly be critical.
The Battle Against Cancer: Headlines are already coming from the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, where the latest results from pioneering trials are being presented. Vemurafenib, developed by Roche and Plexxikon, raised tremendous hope as it demonstrated unprecedented effectiveness in combating late-stage melanoma. For investors in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology space, it will be an extremely volatile few days, as the deluge of trial results impacts stocks.
Hacker Attacks: Neither Super Mario nor Donkey Kong were any match for Lulzsec, the hacker group which has victimized Sony and PBS recently. On Sunday, Nintendo admitted that the group broke into one of its servers, though apparently no sensitive corporate or user data was compromised. The attack marks the latest high-profile breach, as skepticism mounts about preparedness for advanced cyberattacks. It's a long list of companies pegging their future to the boom of cloud computing, and a much longer list already relying on the new norm of digital data management. Will the phenomenon be over before it starts? (Not according to Apple.)
DSK in Court: Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will return to court Monday to be formally arraigned on criminal charges, which include attempted rape, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment. Mr. Strauss-Kahn has denied any wrongdoing, suggesting that the nature of his episode with a hotel maid was consensual. He is expected to enter a not-guilty plea.