Aug 14, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 588 words, a 2.5 minute read.

Situational awareness: WeWork filed to raise $1 billion in an IPO, although the ultimate offering amount is expected to be at least 3x larger. Their financials.

1 big thing: 🚨The "crazy" inverted yield curve
Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

A recession indicator has sounded the alarms on Wall Street and prompted a major market sell-off.

  • The "yield curve inversion" — which President Trump called "crazy" today — comes when short-term Treasury bonds yield a higher rate than the long-term variety.
  • Today's example: 2-month Treasury bonds yielding higher than their 10-year cousins.

Why it matters: A recession has followed the last 5 times this happened, the AP reports.

What's next: Markets "tend to keep moving higher immediately following a yield-curve inversion," WSJ notes.

  • "Since 1978, the S&P 500 has risen 13%, on average, from the first time the spread inverts on a closing basis to the beginning of a recession."

What they're saying:

  • Trump: "Our problem is with the Fed. Raised too much & too fast. Now too slow to cut. Spread is way too much as other countries say THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve. Germany, and many others, are playing the game! CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE!"
  • Invesco's Kristina Hooper to WSJ: “The Fed doesn’t have the cure for an economic slowdown or recession. ... But I do think the Fed has the antidote for the stock-market selloff.”
  • Credit Suisse's Jonathan Golub on Bloomberg TV: “This is not a positive sign for the market. ... The Fed is totally empowered to change this dynamic and the market is saying they have to.”

The big picture: This is just one example of concerning indicators, as Axios Markets' Dion Rabouin notes.

  • Global economic data has worsened in 2019, with Japan and 3 of Europe's 4 largest economies — Germany, Italy and the U.K. — heading toward recession by year-end, and China growing at its slowest pace in 27 years.
  • The bond market has priced in the negative effects of the trade war, triggering recession alarms this year that have been accurate since World War II.
  • Those alarms included the New York Fed's recession probability indicator hitting its warning level.

The bottom line: Today's sell-off reconciled what has so far been conflicting sentiments between the bond and stock market, Axios' Courtenay Brown writes.

  • As investor optimism has pushed stocks to record highs, the bond market has consistently sent a much more cautious message — that a recession is coming sooner than we think.
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Felix Hörhager/dpa/Getty Images

Today's sunrise from Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze.

2. What you missed
  1. Israel is preparing for the possibility that Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will want to visit the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, in Jerusalem. Go deeper.
  2. General Motors is laying down huge, simultaneous bets on electric cars and self-driving technology, while Ford pursues a more cautious approach. Go deeper.
  3. A tech CEO is denying a report that Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged madame, is hiding out in his Massachusetts home. Go deeper.
  4. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is "no chance" of a U.S.-U.K. trade deal passing Congress if Brexit violates the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

The great résumé revolution: "The stodgiest of business documents is in the midst of its most extreme makeover yet—whether employers want it or not," the WSJ reports.

  • Today's "tech-savvy young people have a new arsenal of tricks."
  • "Many throw in headshots."
  • "Some add bitmojis, the personalized avatars used in text messages and on social media."

Between the lines: "The flashy résumés are colliding with efforts by employers to strip down CVs to their most basic elements—coding skills, college degrees, work histories—to reduce bias in hiring."

Worthy of your time.

Mike Allen