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The 10-Point: My Guide to the Day's Top News

The Wall Street Journal
Good morning,
Curbing the Urge to Merge
Regulators keep throwing obstacles in the path of the recent merger mania. Halliburton and Baker Hughes are the latest to feel the heat as they called off their merger yesterday. Once valued at nearly $35 billion, the deal to combine the world’s second- and third-largest oil-field services firms appeared troubled since April 6, when the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block it. The merger also had encountered opposition from regulators in Europe. Halliburton will now pay a $3.5 billion breakup fee to Baker Hughes. While the companies’ efforts to sell off businesses left antitrust officials unmoved, Halliburton had been in talks with both Carlyle Group and General Electric about a package of divestitures to appease regulators. The end of the merger leaves those plans uncertain. Meanwhile, due to the breakup fee, a newly independent Baker Hughes would be flush with cash, which may give it the cushion it needs to retrench, despite the major challenges presented by the failed deal.
Friend Request
European counterterrorism officials say American laws and corporate policies are hampering their efforts to prevent the next attack, because legal procedures for getting international evidence from U.S.-based social-media firms are dangerously outdated. European police officials who face a lengthy process to get communications data from companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp want to make American technology firms more responsive to overseas requests. Even emergency requests for basic customer data—which often don’t require a legal and diplomatic review—can cause friction. We report on an online posting days after the November Paris attacks. In it, a suspected Islamic State supporter boasted that a similar attack would occur the following Sunday in Brussels, but Belgian police were unable to find out who was behind the account until the U.S. Justice Department persuaded the host company to share the subscriber’s information.
Rhyme Without Reason
With U.S. stocks near record highs and memories of last summer’s volatility still in mind, investors could be forgiven for wondering whether this is the year to “sell in May and go away.” There are many interpretations of the long-running trading adage, but the underlying recommendation remains the same: Stock investors should avoid a summer slump. It worked last year, but some investors ridicule the strategy as no better than predictors tying stock-market behavior to the length of hemlines or which NFL conference wins the Super Bowl. Since 1970, the S&P 500 has gained 1% on average in the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. From the Fed’s June meeting to another batch of quarterly corporate earnings that are likely to disappoint, this coming summer will start off with some potentially market-moving events.
The Art of Fitness
Runners and bikers are turning their routes into art. With the help of GPS apps, creative athletes are producing everything from marriage proposals to “Star Wars” characters. The apps tracks their movements in real-time, and, if all goes smoothly, the map’s final series of squiggles and lines resembles the chosen subject. Social-media sites serve as virtual galleries and artistic styles vary by region—U.S. creations tend to be blockier because American city streets are often laid out in a grid. GPS artists say the craft comes with plenty of impediments, from wrong turns and dying phone batteries to cloudy skies or skyscrapers that throw off the GPS signal. “People will do crazy things to get their minds off of the slog of fitness,” says the chief executive of one fitness app.
TODAY'S VIDEO
One Student’s Journey
That Was Painless
Eager to escape flawed education systems and high-pressure entrance exams back home, growing numbers of middle-class Chinese are opting to study abroad.
TOP STORIES
U.S.

Donald Trump Holds 15-Point Lead Ahead of Republican Rivals in Indiana Poll

Clinton Targets Appalachia Votes
WORLD

Iraq Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Followers Trigger Political Crisis

White Helmets Are White Knights for Desperate Syrians
BUSINESS

Valeant’s CEO Was Key Force on Pricing

Hulu Is Developing a Cable-Style Online TV Service
MARKETS

Buffett Downplays Impact of Election

Silicon Valley Looks at Something New: Starting a Bank
NUMBER OF THE DAY
46%
The percentage increase in iron-ore futures prices since the start of the year. Chinese investors have poured billions of dollars into iron-ore futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
We see that Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership but has chosen a path of belligerence...We need to readdress where we’re heading.
Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s top military commander, on the dangers of what he calls a revanchist Russia. He will step down this month.
TODAY'S QUESTION
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on the “sell in May and go away” strategy? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to 10point@wsj.com. Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Margaret Rawson
READER RESPONSE
Responding to Friday’s question on current controversy at Credit Suisse, Joel Rossmaier of Arkansas said: “When I undertook my business degree, shortly after the dinosaurs died out, I was taught in my management classes that authority could be delegated but responsibility could not. It was Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam’s responsibility to be ‘fully aware’ of the risks undertaken by his executives; his claim that he wasn’t is a disingenuous attempt to avoid the responsibility of his office.” Sheryl Rough of Florida wrote: “Until those in charge of these banking and mortgage/lending institutions are actually held legally and financially responsible for their behavior, they will continue to behave like recalcitrant children who try to divert the blame to another child when they are caught with their hands in the cookie jar. We are just as responsible for their behavior by not demanding their accountability and continuing to frequent their institutions with our finances.” And Gerald Ference of Texas weighed in: “The battle among Credit Suisse executives shows the truth in the old adage that none of us is as dumb as all of us.”
This daily briefing is named "The 10-Point" after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary "What's News" digest of top stories. Technically, "10-point" referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.
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