Dec 10, 2018

Breaking bad, Wall Street edition

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The markets are tanking — the S&P 500 is down 8% in last two months alone — as investors brace for bumpy, if not bad, times ahead.

The big thing: The simple fact that this record period of growth will undoubtedly come to an end, in America and globally. A closely watched bond-market bellwether is this close to flashing a recession signal, Axios' Felix Salmon writes.

Other factors at play:

  • The trade war between the United States and China has gotten personal, with the arrest in Canada of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. That's erased most hopes of a trade truce. Go deeper.
  • The Fed is beginning to bite. "Three years’ worth of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve are finally starting to pinch interest-rate-sensitive sectors, particularly housing, the auto industry and companies with heavy debt loads," Neil Irwin writes in the NYT.
  • The Trump tax cuts gave the U.S. economy a one-off boost in 2018. That "won’t be repeated in 2019," writes Irwin, "meaning a harder slog for companies seeking higher profits."

Go deeper: 3 warning signs U.S. economy could be close to recession

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note that Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada. An earlier version incorrectly said she was arrested in China.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.