Axios Closer

Picture of a golden bell on a white background.

Hello! Another day, another bruising run for stocks. Let's get right to it.

Today's newsletter, edited by Pete Gannon, is 626 words, a 2½-minute read.

🔔 The dashboard: The S&P 500 closed down 3.2%.

Biggest gainer? Newell Brands (+7.9%), as investors were attracted to its healthy dividend.

Biggest decliner? APA Corp. (-14.9%), as energy stocks were hit hard across the board.

1 big thing: Markets in panic mode

illustration of a siren with a markets line graph on it.
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Traders are hitting the sell button on virtually every key asset class — including stocks, bonds and bitcoin — ratcheting up the fear factor on Wall Street and sending the S&P reeling to its weakest levels in a year, Axios' Javier E. David writes.

Driving the news: Rising bond yields are hammering tech stocks, with the Nasdaq cratering by over 4% and many high-flying tech shares setting new 52-week lows.

  • Bitcoin tumbled to its lowest levels since 2021, and it's now close to $30,000 (more than half its record high hit last fall).
  • Perhaps more tellingly, oil tumbled by more than 6% to $102, and it's now well below multiyear highs above $116.

The big picture: The Federal Reserve is laser-focused on taming inflation, and that’s making markets increasingly jittery as the U.S. economy sends mixed signals on growth.

  • While the economy contracted last quarter, the jobs market remains as robust as it’s ever been.

This time it’s really different: The Fed’s pivot from super-accommodative to a “fire and brimstone” approach (in the words of JPMorgan global strategist Marko Kolanovic) to price pressures has sparked market volatility for weeks.

What they’re saying: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday that markets were functioning in an orderly way, but there was “potential for continued volatility and unevenness of global growth” in the face of the pandemic.

  • Still, Wall Street analysts are somewhat less sanguine.

💬 Thought bubble: With markets in panic mode and dark clouds enveloping China, the Fed's job of engineering a soft landing for the economy is getting tougher by the day.

Go deeper.

2. Charted: Market rout

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

3. What's happening

🥩 Tyson Foods reported Monday that the average price of its products rose 17.6% in the quarter that ended April 2, compared with a year earlier. (Axios)

📉 Rivian’s stock closed down nearly 21% as Ford unloads 8 million shares. (CNBC)

🤳🏽 Dating app Grindr agreed to go public via SPAC at a $2.1 billion valuation. (Bloomberg)

4. Free broadband for low-income households

An illustration of the White House with a WiFi indicator bar above it.
Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Twenty internet providers, including Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter Communications, will begin offering $30 high-speed internet plans to low-income families, effectively giving free service to households that qualify for a federal subsidy, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill writes.

Driving the news: President Biden and Vice President Harris will tout the agreement with providers at an event Monday focused on the Affordable Connectivity Program.

  • Catch up quick: The ACP provides a $30 monthly discount on internet service from participating providers for low-income households, such as those that receive federal assistance through SNAP or Medicaid.

Details: The White House worked with the 20 program providers to either increase service speed or decrease the price to offer 100 Mbps service for $30 a month.

What's next: The White House is launching a website, GetInternet.gov, and reaching out to eligible households through federal agencies to encourage enrollment.

  • As many as 48 million households qualify for the program, a senior administration official said. So far, just over 11.5 million have signed up.

Go deeper.

5. I'd like to report a rat 🐀

A photo of a rat sniffing a box with food in it on a subway platform.
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

We may have shed some pandemic behaviors, like watching streaming services and riding Pelotons, but there is one we seem set to hang on to — creating food for rats, Axios' Pete Gannon writes.

Rat sightings in New York City this year are up over 20% through April, and by more than 60% from before the pandemic, AP reported.

  • And these are just the sightings called into the city’s 311 service request line.
  • There were around 7,400 of those calls in the year's first four months. And each month set a record since data began in 2010.

Yes, but: The city's rat population isn't necessarily growing — it's just becoming more visible.

6. What they're saying

"It’s clear that the market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly.”
— Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, in an email to employees last night.

Thanks to Sheryl Miller for copy editing today's (and every day's) newsletter.