TWTR - Twitter, Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
40.58
+0.49 (+1.22%)
At close: 4:01PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close40.09
Open40.30
Bid40.58 x 2900
Ask40.55 x 800
Day's Range40.11 - 40.65
52 Week Range26.19 - 43.48
Volume7,029,410
Avg. Volume13,484,460
Market Cap31.369B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.19
PE Ratio (TTM)13.41
EPS (TTM)3.03
Earnings DateOct 24, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est41.99
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Argentine Economy Minister Dujovne Resigns After Market Rout
    Bloomberg

    Argentine Economy Minister Dujovne Resigns After Market Rout

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Argentine Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne resigned Saturday, capping a week of market chaos that followed President Mauricio Macri’s stunning loss in a primary vote.Dujovne, who led bailout negotiations between Argentina and the International Monetary Fund last year, justified his departure by saying the government needs “significant renewal in the economic area” following Macri’s defeat to leftist Alberto Fernandez on Aug. 10.“No doubt we’ve made mistakes, which we never failed to acknowledge and which we tried to correct as much as possible,” Dujovne wrote in a letter to the president. “It’s been an honor for me to serve in your government.”Hernan Lacunza, economy minister for the province of Buenos Aires, will replace Dujovne, according to a statement from the presidential palace.Dujovne’s departure comes at the end of a week that has seen Argentina’s peso and sovereign bonds fall to record lows. Fitch Ratings and S&P Global on Friday downgraded Argentina deeper into junk citing the possibility of a sovereign debt default. Investors have been dumping Argentine assets for fear that Fernandez may shun the IMF deal and implement interventionist policies if elected on Oct. 27.Macri rolled out several economic measures this week to appease voters, including tax breaks and plans to increase the minimum wage while freezing fuel prices. Local media had reported that Dujovne didn’t support the measures because they could violate fiscal targets agreed upon with IMF in exchange for a $56 billion credit line. An IMF spokesman declined to comment.Dujovne’s tenure was plagued by the unpopular IMF deal, significant spending cuts, recession and inflation over 50%. While the economy was showing signs of improvement in May and June, this week’s market rout is likely to put it back in the red.New MinisterLacunza, 50, has since December 2015 been the economy minister for the Buenos Aires province, the biggest in the country with more than 16 million inhabitants. He was general manager and chief economist at the central bank between 2005 and 2010, after which he founded Empiria, an economic consunting firm.A big soccer fan, Lacunza speaks calmly and will need a cool head to maintain an open channel with the IMF while attending to the needs of Argentines. As the peso’s drop increases prices of imported goods, inflation is likely to accelerate again, adding to the pain of a country suffering double-digit unemployment.“I’m deeply sorry that Hernan Lacunza will have to take care of this disaster,” Guillermo Nielsen, an economic adviser for Fernandez, said in a Twitter post. “A professional with his track record and integrity deserves to take care of a more normal situation.”(Updates with confirmation from presidential palace.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jorgelina do Rosario in Buenos Aires at jdorosario@bloomberg.net;Patrick Gillespie in Buenos Aires at pgillespie29@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Walter BrandimarteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Sudan Edges Closer to Civilian Rule as Army Set to Share Power

    (Bloomberg) -- Sudan’s military council signed a power-sharing deal with the main opposition movement, edging Africa’s third-largest country a little closer to civilian rule about four months after President Omar al-Bashir’s overthrow.The transition accord that will be valid for about three years was signed Saturday in the capital, Khartoum, and sets the stage for the naming of a joint civilian-military council and a new cabinet and prime minister in the coming week. It follows sustained global pressure on Sudan’s military, which ousted Bashir after mass protests and has since been accused of deadly crackdowns on demonstrators urging it to cede power.Sudan’s transition is being closely watched in northern Africa and the Middle East, with the uprisings earlier this decade that unseated presidents from Tunisia to Yemen still fresh in the memory. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates quickly pledged aid to Sudan, roiled by years of insurgencies and economic mismanagement, prompting accusations that they’re seeking to bolster the remnants of Bashir’s 30-year regime.Leaders from Kenya and South Sudan were among those attending Saturday’s ceremony. The army announced Thursday that Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the current military council, would lead its 11-member replacement, which is set to feature five other army figures and five civilians.The new council is due to be appointed Sunday, a prime minister on Aug. 20, and the cabinet on Aug. 28. Sudan’s main opposition group said Thursday its nomination for the premiership is Abdalla Hamdok, an economist who’s worked for institutions including the African Development Bank and International Labour Organization.The Arab Parliament, an Arab League advisory body, praised the consensus reached and called for Sudan to be removed from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, state-run Qatar News Agency said on Twitter.(Updates with Arab Parliament comment in last paragraph)\--With assistance from Sarah Algethami.To contact the reporter on this story: Mohammed Alamin in Khartoum at malamin1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net, Michael Gunn, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • U.S. Unveils Warrant to Seize Iranian Ship Stuck at Gibraltar
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Unveils Warrant to Seize Iranian Ship Stuck at Gibraltar

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government has issued a warrant to seize the supertanker Grace 1, which was detained last month on suspicion of hauling Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions.A complaint unsealed in Washington states that “‘Oil Tanker Grace 1,’ all petroleum aboard it and $995,000 are subject to forfeiture,” according to a Justice Department statement. The statement alleges a “scheme to unlawfully access the U.S. financial system to support illicit shipments” of oil from Iran to Syria in violation of U.S. sanctions, money laundering and terrorism statutes.The vessel, which is currently anchored off the coast of Gibraltar, is at the center of a diplomatic spat between the U.K. and the Trump administration. The U.S. has threatened to impose sanctions on anyone dealing with the ship and expressed disappointment with Britain after a court in Gibraltar ruled the ship was free to sail. Ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the ship or its crew might be subject to penalties, two U.S. administration officials said. Iran’s foreign minister said on Twitter that the ship’s detention was unlawful.While the cargo was originally bound for Syria, Iran has provided assurance that this is no longer the case, the Gibraltar government said in a statement Friday.“The evidence is clear and the facts speak louder than the self-serving political statements we are hearing today,” according to the statement, which didn’t specify the comments it was referring to.Missed OpportunityThe court’s decision Thursday to release the Grace 1 was a missed opportunity and the Trump administration hopes that the U.K. government and authorities in Gibraltar will reconsider, according to the U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. They said the court order rewards Iranian terrorism and Tehran will interpret the action as appeasement.It’s not clear when the Grace 1 will set sail. It is currently anchored off the coast of Gibraltar, where it has been since British forces seized it last month on suspicion of violating trade sanctions. At the time, the U.S. Department of Justice hadn’t filed the appropriate action to block the vessel’s release, the Gibraltar Supreme Court said Thursday.The American officials said the U.K. should think of the tanker issue in terms of the broader relationship with the U.S., particularly as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government presses forward with departing the European Union and seeks a free-trade agreement with the U.S. While the people wouldn’t say the release threatens prospects for that deal, they added that the U.K. should ask if it wants to do business with the U.S. or Iran.Gibraltar’s decision to release the ship essentially sets up a race between Iran and the U.S. over its fate. Iran’s Mehr News agency said Thursday the vessel was bound for a port in the Mediterranean, citing Jalil Eslami, deputy for maritime affairs of the Iranian ports and maritime organization. However, it hadn’t moved as of 8:47 a.m London time on Saturday, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.Gibraltar’s chief minister said the case may yet return to a court in the territory if proceedings are brought forward by the U.S.Diplomatic RowThe seizure of the tanker has heightened tension between Iran and the West, in a relation already under strain since the U.S. reimposed sanctions last year. A series of vessel attacks and seizures have threatened shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most critical chokepoint for oil shipments.Following the Grace 1’s detention on July 4, Iran seized a British-flagged vessel, the Stena Impero, which it continues to hold.The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office cautioned that there was no connection between Gibraltar’s enforcement of sanctions and Iran’s activities at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.“There is no comparison or linkage between Iran’s unacceptable and illegal seizure of, and attacks on, commercial shipping vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and the enforcement of EU Syria sanctions by the Government of Gibraltar,” it said in an emailed statement Thursday. “Freedom of navigation for commercial shipping must be respected and international law upheld.”\--With assistance from Christopher Elser, Alex Morales, John Deane and Arsalan Shahla.To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Browning in Gibraltar at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net;Alex Longley in London at alongley@bloomberg.net;Nick Wadhams in Washington at nwadhams@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, ;Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Tony Czuczka, Helen RobertsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Trump’s Dinner Guest on Friday Will Be Apple’s CEO Tim Cook

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly lashed out at technology giants and their leaders, announced on Friday evening that he would be dining with Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple,” Trump, who is staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, wrote on Twitter. “They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!”He did not elaborate, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.Heads of other major technology companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have not fared as well in the president’s tweets and public remarks.He and his political allies have made unsupported claims that social media companies muzzle conservative views. Trump has assailed Amazon for edging out brick-and-mortar retailers and criticized its founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.Pressure on tech companies is increasing in Washington as congressional Republicans examine accusations of bias against conservatives; Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.Earlier this week, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in an interview that he wouldn’t let Trump’s complaints about the size and political inclinations of large technology platforms affect his agency’s decisions.Cook visited the White House in June to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to develop job training programs that meet the changing demands of U.S. employers. The meeting was part of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a working group that includes many corporate leaders. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump unveiled the initiative earlier this year.\--With assistance from Alistair Barr.To contact the reporter on this story: John Harney in Washington at jharney2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Burger King Breakfast Menu 2019: BK Launches 3 New Maple Waffle Sandwiches
    InvestorPlace

    Burger King Breakfast Menu 2019: BK Launches 3 New Maple Waffle Sandwiches

    The Burger King breakfast menu is expanding with a collection of Maple Waffle Sandwiches.Source: Savvapanf Photo / Shutterstock.com The new Burger King breakfast menu for 2019 now includes three Maple Waffle Sandwiches. They are as follows. * Sausage, Egg & Cheese Maple Waffle Sandwich -- Sausage, eggs, and American cheese are layered between two waffle slices for a total of 680 calories. * Bacon, Egg & Cheese Maple Waffle Sandwich -- Thick cut smoked bacon, eggs, and American cheese are layered between two waffle slices for 550 calories. * Ham, Egg & Cheese Maple Waffle Sandwich -- Thin sliced black forest ham, eggs, and American cheese are layered between two waffle slices for 550 calories.Here's how Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) users are reacting to the news about the new Burger King breakfast menu items.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * "Every time @BurgerKing I was expecting it to at least look like a waffle. At least it's better than the taco." * "Lego my eggo burgwr king id rathr eat Mcdick cheese on a waffle then your poor attempt at breakfast sandwich." * "@BurgerKing are these waffles supposed to be burnt, hard discs?" * "Waffle sandwiches? No thanks. Just please never get rid of your croissants." * "Burger King oughta be ashamed of that maple waffle sandwich." * "@BurgerKing what kind of waffle is this!!!? This things dryer than a dryer sheet." * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On So maybe Restaurant Brands International's (NYSE:QSR) Burger King doesn't quite have this waffle thing figured out just yet. Here's hoping it gets better as employees adjust to the new breakfast menu items. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.The post Burger King Breakfast Menu 2019: BK Launches 3 New Maple Waffle Sandwiches appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Weibo Stock Is Still a Risky Play
    InvestorPlace

    Weibo Stock Is Still a Risky Play

    Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) stock reports its earnings Monday before the bell. The China-based social networking company has suffered in recent months as both the trade war and a weak revenue outlook decimated Weibo stock. The equity has continued to fall as geopolitical events weigh on most Chinese stocks.Source: testing / Shutterstock.com Although WB stock shows a great deal of potential, investors face too much risk by buying this equity approaching earnings. WB's Last Earnings Report Will Affect the Current OneAnalysts forecast WB stock earnings of 59 cents per share. This would represent a 13.2% drop from the same quarter last year when the company reported 68 cents per share in profits. They also predict revenues of $429.3 million. The company reported $426.6 million in the year-ago quarter.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHowever, the revenue outlook for the second quarter hammered WB stock in May. The company announced a revenue outlook for the second quarter of $427 million-$437 million. This came in well below expectations. Up until then, Wall Street had expected second-quarter revenues of $481.8 million, as Regina Borsellino reported. That partially explains why WB stock has lost almost half of its value in the past four months. * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On As the equivalent of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) in China, Weibo has seen rapid subscriber growth. However, the company has struggled to monetize that growth. Weibo stock has also become caught up in the selling of Chinese stocks related to the U.S.-China trade war, despite the fact that it does not have direct exposure to the U.S. What WB Stock NeedsAs the company reports earnings, it still finds itself in need of a catalyst that will stem the decline. Weibo beat earnings estimates over the last four quarters. However, traders will want to see some indications that a massive revenue miss will not occur again.WB investors also need signs that the company will follow in the footsteps of its U.S. counterparts on better monetizing the site. Gaining traction with ads rescued both Twitter and Snap (NYSE:SNAP) in recent quarters. Weibo's investors want to see the same.Investors may have good reason to buy WB stock once the trade war abates. Weibo currently trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11.8. It has suffered a slight earnings slowdown this year. However, Wall Street forecasts earnings growth of 17.2% in fiscal 2020. They also expect annual profit increases to average in the double-digits over the next five years.To a degree, all Chinese stocks trade at a discount. This is due to investors having to buy Cayman Islands-based holding companies that represent firms in China. Still, I think the low forward P/E ratio prices in both that risk and the concerns over the trade war. The Bottom Line on Weibo StockDespite the low price, I would not buy WB stock before it announces earnings. Investors look into the future, so as long as earnings exceed expectations, I see no issues with the temporarily lower profits.However, traders also likely feel the sting of the much lower revenue outlook that came in the last earnings report. Weibo needs to avoid further surprises here. Moreover, the continued intensity of the trade war continues to spook investors. Fears that China will invade Hong Kong also have investors on edge. Chinese equities such as WB stock will feel the pain of such geopolitical actions whether or not they relate to the business.However, once the trade war ends, investors will probably see WB stock as an equity with a low P/E ratio registering double-digit profit growth. That makes for a promising outlook, eventually.As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Weibo Stock Is Still a Risky Play appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Twitter to test a new filter for spam and abuse in the Direct Message inbox
    TechCrunch

    Twitter to test a new filter for spam and abuse in the Direct Message inbox

    Twitter is testing a new way to filter unwanted messages from your Direct Message inbox. Today, Twitter allows users to set their Direct Message inbox as being open to receiving messages from anyone, but this can invite a lot of unwanted messages, including abuse. This new experiment will test a filter that will move unwanted messages, including those with offensive content or spam, to a separate tab.

  • Tesla Service Is Criticized in BMW’s Backyard
    Bloomberg

    Tesla Service Is Criticized in BMW’s Backyard

    (Bloomberg) -- Stefan Moeller began this year with an ambitious target: to make his car-rental company Nextmove the biggest Tesla Inc. customer in Germany by adding 100 Model 3s to its fleet. He likened the electric car’s arrival on Europe’s shores to a tsunami washing over a region that’s been slow to embrace battery-powered autos.But the powerful wave Moeller expected has collapsed to a trickle. After weeks of back and forth over unfulfilled repair work and quality issues involving the initial 15 sedans that Tesla delivered -- from scratched bumpers to moisture trapped behind the headlights -- the order of the remaining 85 Model 3s was called off. Tesla also tried to deliver cars that had been previously registered, which would have locked Nextmove out of Germany’s electric-car incentive program and potential tax refunds, Moeller said.“The Model 3 is a fantastic car. Some of our customers totally fell in love with it,” said Moeller, whose Leipzig-based company has more than 300 electric vehicles in its fleet, including 38 Model S and a dozen Model X. “But the organization behind it doesn’t match that. It’s really sobering.”Subpar service could be a barrier to Tesla making more of an impact in Germany, where exacting car owners value how painstakingly their BMWs and Mercedes are cared for just as much as the speed of the Autobahn. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who’s famously inimical to Twitter critiques, acknowledged earlier this year that a lack of service centers in Germany was hampering the company’s growth there.Tesla believes Nextmove’s decision to cancel its remaining Model 3 order wasn’t entirely due to quality issues, and was largely influenced by frustration with an unrelated dispute earlier in the year, according to a spokesperson. The carmaker was in the process of making repairs and had provided loaner vehicles to the customer at the time the order was canceled. (Nextmove insists it was Tesla that canceled the order, after the rental-car company demanded an improved process for handovers and fixes.)The Tesla spokesperson blamed the registration issue that Nextmove described on a temporary issue with matching identification numbers to vehicles and said the issue was resolved for impacted customers.Norway WoesPoor service is an issue that’s already plagued Tesla in Norway, Europe’s largest electric-car market per capita. Dented and sloppily painted vehicles have fueled the highest level of complaints per unit among all automakers, according to the nation’s consumer watchdog.In Europe, Tesla is racing against time as more established players wake up to the electric future. The continent is projected to be the world’s second-largest driver of electric cars in the next decade, trailing only China. Customers can already choose between a growing number of battery-powered models from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Audi.Moeller says Tesla’s issues extend beyond the Model 3. He spent two years waiting for the carmaker to replace a seat in a Model X that was delivered in July 2017 with a hole in it. A Model 3 arrived more recently with a protruding bulge on one tire. Moeller shared with Bloomberg News his email correspondence with Tesla and photos of the blemished vehicles.The Tesla spokesperson said the company’s data doesn’t indicate any unusual vehicle quality issues specific to Germany or anywhere else in the world. The company said there’s a small chance cars are blemished during transport to customers and that it addresses those issues quickly.‘Seriously Worrying’Nextmove isn’t an isolated case. German social-media platforms and online forums are abuzz with customers airing complaints about faulty parts from sensors to suspensions. Many also describe Tesla’s sales organization in the country as unresponsive.“I’m still thrilled by the car, because it’s just so much better than anything I’ve driven before, but the quality of the service and some technical parts are seriously worrying,” Rouven Volk, who said by email that he ordered his Model 3 in February and was slated to take delivery less than a month later.Volk chronicled an odyssey with Tesla that began with a car that couldn’t be handed over because of a defective main display. The company opted to source another Model 3 from its European pool and set a new handover date for a month later. Then, the car had stains on the outside and in the interior, and a cable dangled from where there should have been a light for the back seats. The charging cables and winter tires he ordered were nowhere to be found.The Tesla spokesperson said unhappy customers can return their cars for a full refund up to seven days after purchase. The company’s data shows German customers have largely been satisfied with their vehicles, including the quality and condition of cars upon delivery.“Generally, early-adopter customers forgive unconventional newcomers like Tesla a lot of things,” said Stefan Bratzel, a researcher at the Center of Automotive Management near Cologne. “But the more Tesla enters broader customer segments, the more distribution and service have to function.”Climbing the ChartsSales of the Model 3, Tesla’s most affordable model, helped make the brand the fastest-growing in Germany in the first seven months of the year, according to data from industry watchdog KBA. While 6,816 registrations is still well behind market leaders, Tesla outsold brands including Jaguar and Alfa Romeo.Tesla is in the process of doubling the number of service centers in Germany to 17 locations, with a focus largely on urban areas including Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, according to the company’s website. The carmaker is also branching out into mid-size cities such as Kiel, Ulm and Mannheim, and separately lists 16 retail stores in the country.The brick-and-mortar presence is still a far cry from the sprawling infrastructure that established carmakers have built in Germany over decades. Volkswagen AG, the top-selling automaker in the country, has hundreds of dedicated sales and repair outlets.Then again, Musk is betting the looming shift toward electric cars and digital services will upend the retail and after-sale business. Battery-powered autos have fewer components that are at risk of breaking down. Tesla also plans to expand its fleet of mobile service vehicles by 50% and increase mobile service coverage by fivefold this year in Europe, according to the spokesperson.Rust, ScratchesFor Volk, rust started showing between the front fender and the driver’s door of his Model 3 after about 100 days and 15,000 kilometers, which he attributes to friction of sheet metal that wasn’t properly sloped. Getting a hold of Tesla service personnel has been challenging because some employees familiar with his case have left the company, Volk said.Malte Ahl said in an email he withdrew the purchase contract for his Model 3 in March after Tesla didn’t respond to his concerns about glitches including poor paint quality, scratches on the passenger seat and dysfunctional switches.“I view this way of dealing with the most loyal Tesla fans as unfair and not sustainable,” he wrote in an attached letter addressed to the company’s German unit.(Updates with further Nextmove comment in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at crauwald@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Benedikt Kammel, Craig TrudellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Iran’s Oil Tanker Is Freed by Gibraltar: What Happens Next?

    (Bloomberg) -- Gibraltar’s decision to release Iran’s Grace 1 oil tanker on Thursday sparked the ire of the U.S., even as it signaled a possible thawing in relations between the Persian Gulf state and the U.K.While a court in the British territory ruled that the ship is free to sail -- following weeks of detention on suspicion of violating European sanctions -- the U.S. may yet seek to block this from happening. The Trump administration said it is gravely disappointed by the vessel’s release and threatened sanctions against ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the ship or its crew. Here’s the latest on what might happen to the Grace 1.What is the status of the ship and its crew?The Grace 1 is still anchored in Gibraltar, where it has been since July 4, vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. Four crew members -- the captain, chief officer and two second mates -- have been released. The captain, from India, has no intention of going back aboard the ship, his lawyer said Thursday. Most of the remaining 25 to 30 members of the crew are still aboard, he said.Is it still carrying Iranian crude?It appears to be. The vessel was detained last month holding 2.1 million barrels of crude from Iran, according to the Gibraltar government. It is still fully laden with a cargo size of that amount, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show.A Gibraltar government statement Friday said there was clear evidence the ship was originally bound for Syria and that Iran had provided assurance that this was no longer the case. “The evidence is clear and the facts speak louder than the self-serving political statements we are hearing today,” it said, without specifying which comments it referred to.Why hasn’t the ship left Gibraltar yet?Both Iran and Gibraltar have said that preparations are being made to enable the ship to depart the port. That may run into several roadblocks though -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that any mariners who assist the vessel may jeopardize their ability to enter the U.S. in the future.Can the U.S. keep the vessel detained in Gibraltar?The U.S. could bring new proceedings to a court in Gibraltar under a mutual legal assistance agreement, Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said in an interview with the BBC on Friday. That could see the case return to a court in Gibraltar, which may result in the ship being stuck there again. In a statement Thursday, the chief minister said the U.S. had requested that such a procedure begin, though it wasn’t clear if that had happened yet.What sanctions is the Grace 1 in danger of violating?It’s not immediately clear. The ship was originally detained because it was alleged that it was carrying crude to the Baniyas refinery, an entity that is listed in EU sanctions on Syria. The fact the crude it was carrying came from Iran was irrelevant as far as that original arrest was concerned.Now that the Gibraltar government has accepted Iran’s assurances that the ship will not go to Syria, there are no grounds to detain it under the EU sanctions. Unlike the U.S., the European Union hasn’t reinstated sanctions aimed at Iran’s oil exports, so it’s difficult to see what grounds in European law there would be for rearresting the vessel based on the origin of its cargo.What about U.S. sanctions?In March, the U.S. issued an advisory to the maritime oil-shipping community on the subject of sanctions risks related to cargoes involving Iran and Syria. It advised that non-U.S. persons “may be subject to sanctions for knowingly conducting significant transactions for, or knowingly providing significant support to, certain Iran-related persons” on the U.S. sanctions list. This list might include the ultimate owners of the Grace 1, though the sanctions don’t appear to include the arrest of the vessel itself. While the ship is currently Iran-flagged, it remains something of a mystery who actually owns the tanker.Why is the U.S. so concerned?The U.S. has a policy of seeking to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero. As a result, a key pillar of President Trump’s foreign policy depends on preventing ships like the Grace 1 sailing from Iran to possible buyer destinations like Syria. However, despite U.S. sanctions on Iran, the Persian Gulf state continues to export some oil, including to China. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said the vessel was assisting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. named as a terrorist organization in April.What about the tanker seized by Iran?Shortly after the Grace 1 was detained, Iran seized a U.K.-flagged vessel, the Stena Impero, which it continues to hold. The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement Thursday that there was no link between Iran’s actions threatening shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Gibraltar’s release of the Grace 1. Gibraltar was enforcing EU sanctions, while Iran’s actions were illegal, it said. There was no update on the status of the Stena Impero, a spokesman for the vessel’s owners and managers said Thursday.(Updates with Gibraltar statement in fifth paragraph, comment from U.S. State Department spokeswoman in penultimate paragraph.)\--With assistance from Alex Morales and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Longley in London at alongley@bloomberg.net;Julian Lee in London at jlee1627@bloomberg.net;Jonathan Browning in London at jbrowning9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Passengers entering US report long delays after customs outage

    Major international airports across the US warned passengers of long delays when arriving from overseas after the computer system used to process customs forms went down. US Customs and Border Protection said Friday afternoon that it was experiencing a temporary outage at several airports and was “taking immediate action to address the technology disruption”. Social media lit up with videos and pictures of seemingly endless queues at John F Kennedy airport in New York, Dulles airport outside Washington and Philadelphia’s international airport, though some travellers at Dulles reported official announcements that the systems were slowly coming back online.

  • Twitter leads $100M round in top Indian regional social media platform ShareChat
    TechCrunch

    Twitter leads $100M round in top Indian regional social media platform ShareChat

    The new round, which pushes ShareChat’s all-time raise to $224 million, valuedthe firm at about $650 million, a person familiar with the matter toldTechCrunch

  • China Preps Tariff Response as Trump Sees a Xi Call ‘Very Soon’
    Bloomberg

    China Preps Tariff Response as Trump Sees a Xi Call ‘Very Soon’

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. China called looming U.S. tariffs a violation of accords reached by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, vowing retaliation as Beijing also pushed back on Trump’s effort to link the trade war with the turmoil in Hong Kong.Trump on Thursday said he had a call coming soon with Xi.The plans for 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports have taken the U.S. and China off the track of resolving their dispute through negotiation, the State Council Tariff Committee, which has overseen tit-for-tat retaliation, said in a short statement on Thursday. China “has no choice but to take necessary measures to retaliate,” it said, without specifying what the nation would do.Separately, a foreign affairs ministry spokeswoman expressed hope that the U.S. would leave Hong Kong as an internal matter for the Chinese government to deal with. Trump said Thursday that an agreement with China has to be on “our terms,” according to Fox Business.The U.S. president later told reporters in Morristown, New Jersey, that he has a call scheduled “very soon” with Xi over trade. “They would like to do something,” Trump said, without elaborating.U.S. stocks finished the day higher after getting whipsawed throughout the session as Treasury yields plummeted to levels unseen in years. Trade headlines set investors on edge, though volatility has gripped markets for most of August since Trump escalated his spat with China.Trump announced the tariffs set for Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. China has halted purchases of agricultural goods and allowed the yuan to weaken. Still, top negotiators held a phone call earlier this week and the U.S. delayed the imposition of some of the new import taxes.Negotiators also agreed to have another call in the coming two weeks and people familiar said earlier the Chinese delegation is sticking to their plan to travel to the U.S. in September for face-to-face meetings.China’s statement indicates that Beijing doesn’t think the U.S. delaying some of the tariffs is enough, said Zhou Xiaoming, a former Ministry of Commerce official and diplomat. China is sticking to the position that no new duties should be imposed at all, he said, adding that China’s retaliation “may not be limited to tariffs.”Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper, echoed that sentiment. He tweeted before the Thursday announcement that China wants both sides to respect the consensus reached when Trump and Xi met in Osaka in June. “I doubt the Chinese side will resume large-scale purchase of U.S. farm goods under the current circumstances,” he said.Less than 12 hours before the Chinese statement on retaliation, Trump appeared to float the possibility of another meeting with Xi. In a flurry of tweets, he defended his tariff decisions, praised Xi and urged the Chinese president to “humanely” resolve the protests that have gripped Hong Kong for more than two months.“Of course China wants to make a trade deal,” Trump wrote. “Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!”China doesn’t want external advice on how to deal with Hong Kong.“Hong Kong is purely China’s internal affair. We have noticed that President Trump has previously said that ‘Hong Kong is part of China and they’ll have to deal with that themselves. They don’t need advice,”’ China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a written comments to a question about Trump’s tweet. “We hope that the U.S. side will do as what they say.”China’s position on the trade negotiations has been consistent and clear, Hua said, adding that China hopes the U.S. can meet halfway and implement the consensus of the two leaders in Osaka, “and find mutually acceptable solutions through dialogue and consultation, on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”Trump ended his Twitter post with an apparent overture to Xi -- writing “Personal meeting?” -- without clarifying whether he was suggesting another summit.Hua said the two leaders “have always kept in touch through meetings, calls, and letters.”\--With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs and Sarah Ponczek.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sharon Chen at schen462@bloomberg.net, Brendan Murray, Sarah McGregorFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Trump Makes Israel Look Weak

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Benjamin Netanyahu says he had no choice but to forbid two first-year members of Congress from visiting Israel. Israeli law bans those who boycott it, and after reviewing the itinerary of Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the Israeli prime minister determined their visit’s “sole purpose was to support boycotts and deny Israel’s legitimacy,” according to his statement to the press. What else could he do? In the narrowest possible sense, Netanyahu has a point. Omar, Tlaib and other Jacobins in the Democratic Party single out Israel for special opprobrium. Unlike another recent Democratic Party delegation, they had not planned to meet either government officials or members of the opposition.In a more meaningful sense, however, Netanyahu’s statement is hogwash. First, it cannot have been a surprise that Omar and Tlaib were not traveling to Israel to get on-the-ground policy briefings. For these lawmakers, Israel is merely a prop they can use to rouse their supporters.More important, as Axios reported this week, Israeli agencies discussing the visit had already agreed to allow the visit. Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, also had said that Israel would allow the Omar-Tlaib delegation out of respect for Congress. Everyone knew this was a stunt.  So what happened between that meeting and Netanyahu’s announcement? The answer is the same four words that have upended so many other well-laid plans: President Donald Trump tweeted.On Wednesday morning he said on Twitter that it would “show great weakness” for Israel to allow entry to Omar and Tlaib. And within a few hours Netanyahu gave his statement about their itinerary and Israeli law. Trump had already expressed privately his disappointment with Israel’s decision to let the squad members into Israel, according to Axios. By tweeting, he was just saying the quiet part out loud.Yet Trump’s message — that it showed strength for Israel to ban Omar and Tlaib — is contradicted by the events it set in motion. By reversing its decision following the protests of a powerful friend, Israel looks weak.Forget for a moment the specifics of Omar and Tlaib’s visit, or their rhetoric and positions on issues important to Israel. Deciding who can and cannot visit one’s country is elemental to national sovereignty. Israel has surrendered that sovereignty in this instance because Trump wants to elevate Omar and Tlaib as a foil for his own domestic political reasons.There is no doubt that the president has pursued policies that have strengthened Israeli security. He has moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. But if the cost of that support is an expectation for partisan obeisance, then how much are those policies really worth?Netanyahu’s government got it right the first time. Omar and Tlaib are more clowns than demons. Let them have their pageant. The Jewish state has survived diplomatic isolation, economic warfare, suicide bombers and invading armies. A confident nation does not fear a few hostile press conferences — or the temper of an erratic president.To contact the author of this story: Eli Lake at elake1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Eli Lake is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering national security and foreign policy. He was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Pumpkin Spice Spam? This Time It’s Not a Hoax
    InvestorPlace

    Pumpkin Spice Spam? This Time It’s Not a Hoax

    Pumpkin Spice Spam is a thing and it will be heading to store shelves next month.Source: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com Here's the thing. This isn't the first time that we've heard of Pumpkin Spice Spam. Hormel (NYSE:HRL) originally joked about introducing such a product a few years back. However, that was just a joke. This time it's really coming.So when exactly will customers be able to get their hands on Pumpkin Spice Spam? It will come to Walmart (NYSE:WMT) stores starting on Sept. 23. This will also have it being available on the Spam website. These will be the only places that customer can get the strange food from.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsI'm in the camp that doesn't understand enjoying Spam in the first place. So this is a definite "no" from me, but what about those that do like the food? Some people over at The Daily Meal got to try it early and the general consensus is that it isn't bad. * 10 Stocks Under $5 to Buy for Fall That's all fine dandy, but let's take a look at how Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) users are overreacting to the Pumpkin Spice Spam. * "In the products that no one really asked for category … This fall you can drink your pumpkin spice latte with a plate of pumpkin spice Spam. Unfortunately, this is a real thing." * "I've had plenty of spam in my day, especially fried spam with breakfast. But pumpkin spice spam, No way!" * "Hotdog flavored ice cream, pumpkin spice spam. What is the world coming to?!? But more importantly who eats this stuff!!" * "Who would have thought that they could take something as nasty as Spam and make it ever worse." * "Kudos to spam for bringing down the pumpkin spice movement from the inside."Looks like I'm not alone is my distaste for Spam after all. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks Under $5 to Buy for Fall * 5 Stocks to Avoid Amid the Ongoing Trade War * 7 5G Stocks to Buy Now for the Future As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.The post Pumpkin Spice Spam? This Time It's Not a Hoax appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Bloomberg

    Facebook's Listening Stirs Senator's Ire Over Zuckerberg Remarks

    (Bloomberg) -- Democratic Senator Gary Peters of Michigan cast doubt about Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony amid revelations that Facebook Inc. has been paying contractors to transcribe audio clips from its users.Peters’s comments, which followed a Bloomberg report that the company used the transcriptions to improve its speech-recognition technology, come as smartphones and other microphone-enabled devices become ever-more ubiquitous."I am concerned that your previous testimony before Congress appears to have been, at best, incomplete,” Peters said in a letter sent Thursday to the Facebook chief executive officer that requested more information about the report.During Zuckerberg’s testimony in April 2018, Peters asked the CEO whether "Facebook uses audio obtained from mobile devices to enrich personal information about its users," according to the senator’s letter. Zuckerberg called the notion a "conspiracy theory" and denied the company uses the audio for its ads business.Peters was referring to a theory that Facebook listens to conversations through a phone’s microphone and related permissions. Bloomberg reported on a narrower activity: Contractors transcribed users’ audio messages from the Facebook Messenger chat app. Still, members of Congress from both parties called the company out this week and urged new statutes to combat threats to privacy."Congress needs to pass tough rules that ensure that Americans don’t have our privacy repeatedly violated by unaccountable corporations," Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement. The Oregon Democrat, who last year circulated draft legislation that would impose steep fines and even prison time for executives who fail to adequately safeguard Americans’ personal data, said Zuckerberg "must be held personally responsible for Facebook’s serial privacy offenses."Wyden also slammed the company’s recent $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, one of tech’s foremost Republican critics, asked in a series of tweets whether Facebook’s audio collection violated the agreement with the FTC.On Wednesday, the Irish Data Protection Commission, which oversees Facebook in Europe, said it was examining the activity for possible violations of the EU’s strict privacy rules.Congress, inspired partially by Facebook’s high-profile lapses, has spent months working on a federal privacy bill that could also tackle the handling of voice recordings, but a key group of legislators working on the bill has fallen apart after it missed a number of self-imposed deadlines, and progress on the bill has stalled.Facebook is not the only company that might be affected by new privacy rules. Bloomberg reported in April that Amazon employed a team of thousands of people around the world who listened to recordings picked up by Alexa and checked them for accuracy to improve the software. Humans were also brought in to review voice assistant recordings at Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc., which both courted controversy for not making the practice clear to users.Democratic Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts cited Bloomberg’s reporting in July in announcing his plan to introduce a bill to allow the FTC "to seek penalties when digital personal assistants and smart doorbells record private conversations of users who haven’t said the device’s wake word or phrase." Moulton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said his bill would impact companies like Amazon, which also owns the smart doorbell company Ring.Senator Mark Warner said the latest revelations about Facebook’s audio collection "is yet further proof that consumers’ expectations of how their data is collected and used radically differ from what companies like Facebook are actually doing." Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, called for legislation to require companies to disclose more detail about their data collection, use and sharing.\--With assistance from Matt Day.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington at btenerellabr@bloomberg.net;Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, ;Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump Linking Trade to Hong Kong Risks Playing Into Xi's Hands
    Bloomberg

    Trump Linking Trade to Hong Kong Risks Playing Into Xi's Hands

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. President Donald Trump linked Hong Kong’s unrest to talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in a move that could reinforce Beijing’s efforts to blame the U.S. for increasingly violent protests in the Asian financial hub.In a flurry of tweets Wednesday, Trump defended his tariffs decisions, praised Xi and urged the Chinese president to “humanely” resolve the protests that have gripped Hong Kong for more than two months. He ended the posts with an apparent overture to Xi -- writing “Personal meeting?” -- without clarifying whether he was suggesting another summit.“Of course China wants to make a trade deal,” Trump wrote. “Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!”The White House had no immediate comment on the tweets, which were posted hours after U.S. equities plunged as a Treasury yield curve inverted, heightening fears of a recession. The trade dispute with China has contributed to the rising anxiety, which arrived at a difficult time for Trump, who has based his re-election strategy on a robust economy.The remarks on Hong Kong signaled a shift by the U.S. president, who has expressed sympathy for Chinese views of the protests, even as demonstrators wave American flags and other administration officials defend their right to freedom of expression. Earlier this month, he described the protests as “riots” and suggested that the U.S. would stay out of an issue that was “between Hong Kong and China.”Even suggesting a link between the trade dispute and unrest in the former British colony will feed suspicions in Beijing that the U.S. was seeking to leverage China’s domestic crisis as part of broader strategy to check its rise. China has in recent weeks attempted to paint the U.S. as a “black hand” behind the protests, with a front-page commentary in the Communist Party’s People Daily newspaper saying Thursday that such forces were trying to foment a “color revolution.”“The men at the top in Beijing know that the ‘black hand’ theory is nonsense,” said Perry Link, editor of the “Tiananmen Papers” and a professor at the University of California, Riverside. “But will they grab the remark to try to strengthen their deception of the Chinese people? Of course they will.”China’s foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment Thursday. Asked Wednesday about an earlier Hong Kong tweet by Trump, the ministry said: “Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. We again urge the U.S. to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs.”It’s not the first time Trump has piled seemingly unrelated issues into his trade dispute with Xi, tying it to North Korea nuclear talks and extradition proceedings against a top executive at the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. His administration has also ratcheted up military support for Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory, since the trade war began last year.By linking trade to human rights, Trump would be attempting to succeed where others such as President Bill Clinton failed. David Zweig, a professor of social science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said he imagined members of China’s ruling Politburo “sitting around a table all howling, laughing” at Trump’s suggestion.“He’s got enough trouble cutting a trade deal and now he’s going to add a new human rights criteria to it?,” Zweig said. “Xi Jinping’s not going to engage him on this. He wouldn’t talk to him at the G-20 -- he said Hong Kong is off the table. Why is it going to be on the table now? That will fly nowhere. It’s ridiculous.”Nonetheless, the comments were cheered in online forums popular among Hong Kong protesters. Demonstrators have courted U.S. support, with some bringing American flags and MAGA hats to recent rallies. U.S. lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Marco Rubio, have urged action to support protesters.Under a U.S. law, Trump has the power to rescind Hong Kong’s status as a preferential trading partner -- essentially turning the Asian financial hub into just another Chinese city. Such a seismic shift would be an almost unthinkable escalation of the U.S.-China trade war."To some extent, he’s giving pressure to China," said a protester, who wanted to be known only as C. Lee, adding that he saw Trump’s tweets as a win for Hong Kong demonstrators. "It’s a good thing as long as we keep getting international attention."Trump’s comments feed into the Communist Party’s efforts to blame its internal problems on “hostile foreign forces.” Chinese officials have in recent weeks called the protest violence the “creation of the U.S.,” citing statements by American officials and their meetings with Hong Kong activists, as well as “U.S. faces” at rallies.Blaming Hong Kong’s protests on foreign interference not only helps make them less attractive to potential sympathizers on the mainland, it could help provide Beijing a justification should it decide to intervene militarily. Trump further stoked those fears with an earlier tweet saying that U.S. intelligence was monitoring Chinese troop movements near the Hong Kong border and urging everyone to be “calm and safe.”Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the president’s messaging on Hong Kong has been too “confusing and contradictory” to be effective with China.“They won’t accept any linkage in this case,” Glaser said. “I suspect they’ll ignore it.”(Adds protester’s comment in 14th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs and Natalie Lung.To contact the reporters on this story: John Harney in Washington at jharney2@bloomberg.net;Kevin Hamlin in Beijing at khamlin@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, ;Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bond Rally Charges On With 30-Year Treasury Yields Below 2%
    Bloomberg

    Bond Rally Charges On With 30-Year Treasury Yields Below 2%

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Alarm bells are ringing louder in bond markets.Among the superlatives: the yield on 30-year Treasuries fell below 2% for the first time and the world’s pile of negative-yielding debt surpassed $16 trillion. And looming over it all was the 10-year Treasury yield dipping below the two-year, in what’s considered a harbinger of a U.S. economic recession in the next 18 months.That expectation, nurtured in recent weeks by worsening U.S.-China trade relations and signs global growth is slowing, was bolstered by weak Chinese and German economic data. The so-called yield inversion drew the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump, who tweeted that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is “clueless.”“We’re heading into a global recession and central banks don’t have much ammunition to counter it,” said Nader Naeimi, AMP Capital Investors Ltd.’s head of dynamic markets in Sydney. “The huge shock from the trade war has basically offset whatever central banks are doing, and that’s some of the signals from the yield-curve inversion.”The 30-year Treasury yield fell as much as six basis points to 1.9623% in Asia trading on Thursday, after sliding 15 basis points the day before.Meanwhile, an inversion of the 2-10 year yield curve that briefly occurred during New York trading surfaced again. The 10-year Treasury yield was as much as 1.3 basis points below the two-year rate on Thursday.Bad European and Chinese data were the trigger for the global bond rally, said Praveen Korapaty, chief global rates strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “From the pace of the move, I suspect some long-held steepeners are being unwound as well.”Another widely-watched recession indicator, the yield difference between three-month and 10-year Treasuries, inverted in March and has been negative much of the time since, bedeviling investors who anticipated that the curve would steepen as the Fed began to cut interest rates. The global rush for bonds also inverted the two-year to 10-year U.K. yield curve Wednesday.Trump placed the blame for the “crazy inverted yield curve” squarely on the U.S. central bank, which he believes raised interest rates too quickly. The Fed’s reluctance to ease policy more aggressively is “holding us back,” he tweeted.Yield curves normally slope upward as investors demand compensation for putting money at risk over longer periods.As fears grow of a weaker economy in the future, investors drive down yields on longer-dated assets on expectation that rates will drop. There’s another incentive to buy longer bonds, and that’s due to the positive convexity value. This means that those with a longer duration will see larger price climbs in a rally than those with shorter maturities.The U.S. bond market has been a destination for haven flows given that there are fewer and fewer positive-yielding assets to park cash in globally, according to Richard Kelly, head of global strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank.“The curve inversion to this point is flagging a 55-to-60 percent chance of a U.S. recession over the next 12 months,” Kelly said. “We can all debate whether those signals are as accurate as they once were, but we still seem to be in a slow grind lower for sentiment and momentum and need some positive surprises to change those trends.”The curve isn’t the only thing flashing high alert. The New York’s Fed index showing the probability of a recession over the next 12 months is close to its highest level since the global financial crisis, at around 31%.Others aren’t ready to sound the alarm yet. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s No. 2 official weighed in on the debate on Thursday questioning the value of using the inversion as a sign of recession.“At the moment the U.S. economy is actually growing above trend so they’ve got a fair way to slow from here,” said RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle. Trade disputes are a key risk, though, he said.There’s little evidence in U.S. economic data to suggest a recession is imminent, according to Goldman’s Korapaty, who sees the 10-year yield returning to 1.75% by year-end.Others including macro hedge fund Ensemble Capital are more wary of rising recession risks.“Yes, recession is coming,” according to Ensemble’s Chief Investment Officer Damien Loh. “The ball’s in the court of the White House and Trump given the flip flops on trades we’ve seen.”(Updates with latest bond yields in fifth and sixth paragraphs, RBA comments.)\--With assistance from Emily Barrett, Greg Ritchie and Michael P. Regan.To contact the reporters on this story: Katherine Greifeld in New York at kgreifeld@bloomberg.net;Ruth Carson in Singapore at rliew6@bloomberg.net;John Ainger in London at jainger@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at bpurvis@bloomberg.net, ;Ven Ram at vram1@bloomberg.net, Tan Hwee AnnFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    US stocks slide 3% as bond market signals recession

    US equities fell 3 per cent on Wednesday after disappointing data from China and Germany increased fears over global growth and bond markets signalled the chances of a recession were mounting. In Asia, Japan’s Topix was down 1.9 per cent, erasing gains for the year, while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia fell 1.2 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and China’s CSI 300 were down 0.67 per cent and 0.91 per cent respectively on opening. “I think that the US economy has enough strength to avoid [a recession].

  • Higher Welfare Payments Could Lift Australian Economy, RBA Says
    Bloomberg

    Higher Welfare Payments Could Lift Australian Economy, RBA Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. When a popular Australian breakfast television show recently referred to unemployed people as “dole bludgers,” the social-media backlash from outraged viewers was telling.A wave of tweets showed unexpected and widespread support for jobless people struggling on benefits that haven’t risen above inflation for 25 years. The hashtag NotaDoleBludger gave momentum to a campaign to increase welfare payments -- known as Newstart -- with RBA Governor Philip Lowe adding to voices saying it could help boost the slowing economy.But there’s one crucial opponent. The coalition government argues jobs are available for those who really want them and the economy doesn’t need more stimulus given recent tax cuts. It also doesn’t want to jeopardize a forecast return to budget surplus that would be the first in over a decade.“From an economic point of view, Newstart is one of the best ways of providing stimulus because those who are on the lowest incomes have the highest propensity to spend,” said Nicki Hutley, a partner at Deloitte Access Economics, a consultancy. “So pretty well everything extra these people get will be put back into the economy.”The debate highlights Lowe’s frustration as he seeks to persuade Scott Morrison’s government to inject fiscal stimulus into the economy, which is growing at the slowest pace in a decade. So far, the central bank is doing much of the heavy lifting, following back-to-back cuts that slashed the cash rate to a record low 1%. With the prospect of unconventional monetary policy now gaining traction, a bit more help from the government would be welcome.The well-worn stereotype of unemployed Australians is of young people smoking pot on the beach, one that’s long been perpetuated by politicians and tabloid newspapers. The Daily Telegraph in 2016 cheered government plans to “turn back the dole bludgers,” saying there were “plenty of candidates lying in the sun” at Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach.But Newstart recipients are just as often older people not far from retirement who have been retrenched and have very little chance of finding a new job.“If people who are getting Newstart got more money they would spend it, and so aggregate demand would rise,” Lowe said Friday in response to a question from a parliamentary panel in Canberra. “In the short run I think you get more stimulus from giving money to people who have a high propensity to spend that money, and that’s obviously lower-income people.”Still, as he sought to tread carefully in government territory, Lowe conceded that lifting benefit rates would of course cost the budget money and so required a delicate balancing act.Unlikely SupportLowe has some unexpected company. John Howard, prime minister from 1996-2007 who led a crackdown on people on unemployment benefits and introduced tougher application processes, has voiced his support for raising Newstart. As has John Hewson, a predecessor of Howard’s as Liberal party leader who lost an election on a program to strip Australia’s welfare state to the bone.The public also appear to be coming around. Channel Seven’s ‘Sunrise’ breakfast show last month ran a story that almost 80% of people on unemployment benefits had their payments suspended, implying they broke the rules. The presenter said “figures have been released showing just how many dole bludgers are trying to take advantage of the welfare system.”The program was condemned from all sides, including some conservative politicians, and was forced to issue an apology. The reality, it turned out, was that payments were often suspended in error and some people were pushed onto the streets over the failures.Hewson now says there is “an overwhelming case” for a catch up in Newstart payments, noting that at about A$275 ($186) per week, it’s almost A$200 per week less than the aged pension and well below most accepted estimates of the poverty line.Deloitte Access’s Hutley estimates that a A$75-a-week increase in welfare payments would have a range of “prosperity effects” including lifting GDP over a couple of years by 0.2 percentage point and add an estimated 12,000 jobs. Still, the government remains unconvinced for now.“They’ve got their priorities mixed up,” said Hutley. “There’s just this stubborn ideology among a few senior politicians -- the prime minister included -- that puts ideology over a serious need.”To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at mheath1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net, Chris Bourke, Edward JohnsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    As Argentina Suffers, Macri Seeks Temporary Truce With Fernandez

    (Bloomberg) -- It took three days and a 25% plunge in the peso for Argentine President Mauricio Macri to reach out to the winner of Sunday’s primary vote -- initially through a WhatsApp message.The message led to a “long and good” phone call between the two, the first since Alberto Fernandez’s resounding victory turned him into the clear favorite to win the Oct. 27 election. “He’s willing to help as much as possible to ensure that this electoral process, and all the uncertainty it creates, has the least possible impact on the economy and Argentines,” Macri tweeted after the call.A spokesman for Fernandez confirmed the phone call took place. Earlier, Fernandez himself acknowledged having received a text message from the president. “I was teaching at the university, saw the message but couldn’t answer,” he told reporters outside of his campaign headquarters in Buenos Aires.Traders Scramble to Price Argentina Amid Bottomless RoutMarkets have been eager for signs of policy coordination and concrete measures to staunch the sell-off. So far, however, investors seem to be unconvinced -- the peso added to losses for a third consecutive day and bonds sank further into distress with investment firms boosting odds of a debt default in coming years.Fernandez “showed willingness to try to bring calm to the markets with respect to the risks of an eventual change in power,” Macri addded in his tweet.\--With assistance from Patrick Gillespie.To contact the reporter on this story: Jorgelina do Rosario in Buenos Aires at jdorosario@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Walter Brandimarte, Daniel CancelFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ex-GOP lawmaker: ‘Racial arsonist’ Trump should face primary challenge
    MarketWatch

    Ex-GOP lawmaker: ‘Racial arsonist’ Trump should face primary challenge

    If Joe Walsh’s relentless Trump-smashing on social-media isn’t enough to convince you he’s had a change of heart, his editorial in the New York Times on Wednesday should do the trick:

  • Four Loko Hard Seltzer Plans Has People Buzzing
    InvestorPlace

    Four Loko Hard Seltzer Plans Has People Buzzing

    A Four Loko hard seltzer is on the way and it has people talking.Source: Shutterstock The new Four Lojko hard seltzer was announced by the company via its Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account. The company shares an image of the can, which reveals some hints about what customers can expect from the drink.Starting off, the new drink is called the "Four Loko Sour Seltzer with a Hint of Blue Razz". The can also includes the alcohol by volume level for the drink, which is sitting at 14%. It also advertises itself as the "Hardest seltzer in the universe."InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul Here's how users on Twitter are reacting to the news about a Four Loko hard seltzer. * "Well a lot of Kylies are about to be blacking out and fighting Kyles." * "Man I didn't think this was how we were gonna go " * "Y'all over here shocked at 14%… have y'all lived through original four loko circa 2009-2010 when it had crack? 14% ain't shit compared to the devils spit we was drinking." * "If this is real please send me some. In a sense, I am part seltzer, part Four Loko. I will be your spokeswoman and whatever heart palpitations come my way I will not disclose it to my audience." * "Hard seltzer's ran so college students could streak naked blackout through their dorms on four loko seltzer." * "SERIOUSLY? I've seen the negative affect Four Loko has had on young people and middle aged adults. How can this new drink be positive in any way?"As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul * 5 More Cloud Stocks With Plenty of Potential * 5 Clean Energy ETFs to Buy for 2019 The post Four Loko Hard Seltzer Plans Has People Buzzing appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Financial Times

    US lawmakers urge support for Hong Kong protests

    Prominent US lawmakers from both parties are voicing their support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and some have called for President Donald Trump to take a firmer stance on the territory’s worst political crisis in more than 20 years. Mr Trump, who has deployed harsh rhetoric towards China in the past, has so far trod carefully around the issue despite fellow Republicans having expressed support for peaceful protesters. On Wednesday he took the opportunity to link the protests in Hong Kong directly to the trade battle with China, and offered advice to his Chinese president Xi Jinping in the process.

  • European Fintechs Escape Troubles Afflicting Established Banks
    Bloomberg

    European Fintechs Escape Troubles Afflicting Established Banks

    (Bloomberg) -- When Swedish banking firm Klarna became Europe’s most valuable financial technology startup last week, it was only the latest sign that digital finance has escaped the troubles afflicting legacy lenders.Its latest fundraising gave Klarna, which facilitates online installment payments, a $5.5 billion valuation. European fintech companies raised $3.3 billion in venture capital in the first half of 2019, up from $1.9 billion in the same period last year, according to data compiled by CB Insights. In contrast, an index of European Union banks has dropped 39% the past 18 months.“Investors are drawn to it because it’s the perfect blend of a huge, mature industry which, empowered by technology, can deliver vast returns, far in excess of what you see if you’re starting up out of nowhere,” said Ben Brabyn, chief executive officer of Level39, one of Europe’s largest fintech accelerators, in an interview.Here are a few other recent industry highlights and what to watch out for next.Fintechs Flout Brexit WorriesLondon fintechs defied the Brexit gloom that descended on the the U.K. Transferwise Ltd. announced a funding round in May that valued the eight-year-old company at $3.5 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2017. A few weeks later, online bank Monzo closed a new funding round doubling the startup’s valuation to more than $2.5 billion. Meantime, Revolut Ltd., while being eyed by regulators for possible compliance lapses, expanded into stock trading. They weren’t all winners: shares of peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle Ltd. have plunged 65% this year.IZettle’s Surprise PayPal SaleIt was the midnight deal that surprised many -- PayPal Holdings Inc. purchased iZettle AB for $2.2 billion in May 2018 the night before the Swedish startup had planned to price its shares in an initial public offering. Stockholm-based iZettle competes with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc., and Canada’s Shopify Inc.Adyen Soars After IPODutch payments processor Adyen NV hit headlines for two reasons last year. First, in February, it was announced the Netherlands-based firm would replace PayPal as EBay Inc.’s global checkout service. Then in June, it held a billion-dollar IPO and saw its shares surge 90% in the first day of trading. The company, whose clients include Netflix Inc. and Spotify Technology SA, is now valued at 20 billion euros ($22.4 billion)Worldpay’s $35.5 Billion DealAs one of the world’s biggest payments firms, Worldpay Inc. handles about $1 trillion annually -- similar to Chase Paymentech. When Fidelity National Information Services Inc. said on July 31 it’d completed its $35.5 billion acquisition of the company, data compiled by Bloomberg showed the combined business will be the world’s biggest in the processing and payments industry. It wasn’t a bad day for Ohio-based Worldpay, which less than two years earlier had been a British enterprise snapped up for 7.7 billion pounds ($9.3 billion) by U.S. merchant acquirer Vantiv.What’s Next?N26, the German mobile bank backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, announced in July it had extended its most recent fundraising round to $470 million, at a valuation of $3.5 billion. The company is expanding from Europe to the U.S., betting it can attract users from established lenders and credit card providers with free accounts, fewer fees and phone alerts.Other companies to watch include Revolut, which despite multiple run-ins with controversy remains exciting to investors after it held one of the biggest fundraising rounds for a European fintech last year, and app-based banks Monzo and Starling, which are attracting customers at a rapid clip.Further down the line is the U.K.’s online lender Zopa Ltd., which its CEO Jaidev Janardana said in July could potentially hold an IPO in 2021.“The valuations are encouraging but they’re not enough. They’re just an early indicator. The important numbers to watch are the customers,” said Brabyn. “We all need to step up to demonstrate the public value of what we do.”To contact the reporter on this story: Ali Ingersoll in London at aingersoll1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Nate Lanxon, James HertlingFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.