May 30, 2019

Stocks and bond yields hit lows around the globe on Wednesday

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets

There was more blood on Wall Street Wednesday. Stocks and other risky assets fell while traders piled into safe-haven bonds.

The state of play: The S&P 500 fell to its lowest since March 11 with the Dow hitting its lowest since Feb. 11 and the Russell 2000 closing at its lowest since Jan. 30.

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.4% to the lowest since Feb. 21.
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index declined 1.1%, the lowest since February.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries touched the lowest since September 2016.
  • Germany's 10-year government bond yields hit their lowest in about 3 years.
  • Benchmark 10-year yields on Japanese government bonds fell to the lowest in almost 3 years and had the largest decrease in almost 6 weeks.

What they're saying: "The 2019 rally has been driven by 1) A dovish pivot by the Fed (no more hikes), 2) An expected U.S.-China trade deal, 3) Stable U.S. and global economic growth and 4) Better-than-feared earnings. Three of those four factors got significantly worse last week," said market analyst Tom Essaye in his Sevens Report newsletter.

  • "The 2019 rally can likely survive the loss of any one factor (which is why the breakdown in U.S.-China trade hasn’t caused a deeper correction), but it likely cannot withstand the loss of any two factors. Right now, we have three of the four teetering."

Go deeper: The stock market has entered "The Twilight Zone"

Go deeper

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

2 hours ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.