Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Earnings galore: After a quiet few weeks, earnings season is well underway with major companies reporting results in the U.S. and Canada today. Early in the morning we got numbers from General Electric and General Motors, and the two former industrial powerhouses both seem to have pleased investors with their numbers. PepsiCo and UPS also reported mixed results, with both beating profit expectations but showing signs of slowdown beneath the surface. After the bell, we’ll get numbers from big Canadian names like First Quantum and CN Rail, while in the U.S., the market is anxiously awaiting numbers from Tesla. The former high flying electric car company has lost 43 per cent of its value this year, and expectations are that the company had a rough quarter.

Viking cruises prices US$1.1B IPO: There is perhaps no better sign that the demand for travel has fully recovered from the pandemic than news that a cruise company is seeking to go public. Viking Holdings Ltd., which operates cruises on 92 vessels around the world, is looking to go public in an initial offering in New York. The company filed paperwork with regulators hoping to sell 44 million shares for as much as US$25 each to raise $1.1 billion. The company booked revenue of $4.7 billion last year, filings show. The sector was hit harder than almost any other in 2020, but financial results from established players like Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival show that demand has indeed returned. The IPO is slated to happen on the NYSE in the coming days, but there’s a Canadian connection: the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board owns at least a five per cent stake in the company, according to IPO paperwork.

Wildfire season fully underway: The day after Earth Day is a grim marker for the opening of Canada’s wildfire season, but it definitely seems to be off and running. More than 100 blazes are burning across British Columbia already, and over the border in Alberta, there are more than 70 with three officially classified as “out of control.” An evacuation alert for Saprae Creek near the oilsands capital of Fort McMurray has been cancelled, but residents near Cold Lake near the Saskatchewan border have been ordered to leave. More than 65 per cent of Canada was abnormally parched or in drought as of the end of March – a time when snow melt typically kicks in. That’s prompting fears of another rough year for wildfires. Last year was among the worst on record as smoke from the fires blanketed North America, and from the energy industry’s perspective more than 300,000 barrels a day of production was taken offline.

Freixenet maker pops the cork on job cuts: One of Spain’s best known Cava makers is looking to furlough more than three quarters of its workers after a multi-year drought has slashed grape production. Freixenet SA is seeking the government’s OK to temporarily lay off 650 workers due to the “exceptional situation” of the drought impacting the region of Catalonia. Water reservoirs in the area are at 18 per cent of their capacity, the lowest on record. “We had never seen a situation like this in over 100 years of history,” the company said in a statement seen by Bloomberg. “The terrible drought, originated by climate change, is affecting us since 2021 but especially since 2023.” The cuts, if approved, would be as much as 80 per cent of the company’s permanent work force.

Apple’s sales slump in China deepens: There are some hard-to-believe numbers on Apple out of China this morning, with independent research firm Counterpoint tabulating that the company’s smartphone sales in the country slipped 19 per cent during the March quarter. The slowdown dropped the company to the third spot in the country, a previously unimaginable level for the maker of the ubiquitous iPhone. The weakness is especially notable because it covers the period that includes the Lunar New Year, which is typically a time of consumer consumption. Apple’s loss was Huawei’s gain, as sales at the Chinese phone maker soared 70 per cent, moving into the premium segment that Apple used to have to itself. The Chinese sales numbers come days before the company is set to release financial results on May 2.