Treasury rally stokes angst
U.S. stocks fell more than 1% as political unrest in Hong Kong and Argentina fueled a rally in global bonds that continues to raise the specter of a looming recession. Gold surged. The S&P 500 index slumped for a second day and now sits almost 5% below its all-time high as the rally in Treasuries sparked by last week’s escalating trade tensions picked up steam. Risk assets came under pressure after authorities closed Hong Kong’s airport and a Chinese official said the city was at a “critical juncture.” Argentina’s peso and equities sank after voters turned on the president in a primary vote. Corn futures plunged the most since 2013 as more of the grain was planted than analysts had estimated. The weakness in stocks fed demand for haven assets, pushing the 10-year Treasury yield lower by 10 basis points and boosting the yen for a fourth day. China’s central bank fixing continued to signal its determination to manage an orderly depreciation. Italian bonds led gains in European debt after Fitch affirmed the country’s credit rating on Friday. The pound strengthened following three sessions of declines.
Verizon sells struggling Tumblr
Verizon is selling Tumblr, a darling of early social media, to the owner of blogging platform WordPress.Tumblr angered many users last year when it banned porn and “adult content,” which made up a big part of its highly visual and meme-friendly online presence. But well before that, the site has already been drifting in the face of competition from Facebook and its Instagram service and from Google’s YouTube. Tumblr has also been overshadowed by Twitter. Verizon got Tumblr through its 2017 purchase of Yahoo. Yahoo had bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013, but ended up writing off much of its value. Terms of Verizon’s sale to WordPress owner Automattic weren’t disclosed.