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S&P 500 confirms bear market as recession worry grows

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. equities tumbled on Monday, with the S&P 500 confirming it is in a bear market, as fears grow that the expected aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve would push the economy into a recession.

The benchmark S&P index has fallen for four straight days, with the index now down more than 20% from its most recent record closing high to confirm a bear market began on Jan. 3, according to a commonly used definition.

All the major S&P sectors were sharply lower, with only about 10 components of the S&P 500 in positive territory on the day. Markets have been under pressure this year as climbing prices, including a jump in oil prices due in part to the war in Ukraine, have put the Fed on track to take strong actions to tighten its monetary policy, such as interest rate hike.

The Fed is scheduled to make its next policy announcement on Wednesday and investors will be highly focused on any clues for how aggressive the central bank intends to be in raising rates.

A hotter-than-expected consumer price index (CPI) reading on Friday prompted traders to price in a total of 175 basis point (bps) in interest rate hikes by September.

Elon Musk Makes $43 Billion Unsolicited Bid to Take Twitter Private

  • World’s richest person will offer $54.20 per share in cash
  • Tesla executive is one of Twitter’s most-watched firebrands.
  • Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk offered to take Twitter Inc. private in a deal valued at $43 billion, lambasting company management and saying he’s the person who can unlock the “extraordinary potential” of a communication platform used daily by more than 200 million people.The world’s richest person said he’ll pay $54.20 per share in cash, 38% above the price on April 1, the last trading day before Musk went public with his stake. The social media company’s shares were little changed at $45.81 in New York on Thursday, a sign there’s skepticism that one of the platform’s most outspoken users will succeed in his takeover attempt.Musk, 50, announced the proposed deal in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, after turning down the chance to take a board seat at the company. Musk, who also controls Tesla Inc., first disclosed a stake of about 9% on April 4, making him the largest individual investor. Tesla shares fell about 3% on concern that the attempt to acquire Twitter will be a distraction for Musk.

Stocks slide, oil jumps as Russia orders troops to Ukraine regions

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil jumped to a seven-year high, safe-havens rallied and U.S. stock futures dived on Tuesday as Europe’s eastern flank stood on the brink of war after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine.

Brent crude futures rose 1.6% to $96.94, just off their overnight seven-year high. S&P 500 futures fell 1.5% and Nasdaq futures fell 2.2%. Asian stocks were also down over half a percent, while Japan’s Nikkei skidded sharply.

The Russian rouble briefly touched an 18-month low in early Asia trade on Tuesday, after Russia’s MOEX equity index had fallen 10.5% the day before.

Spot gold, in contrast, hit a new six-month top of $1,911.56. [GOL/]

Covid

California lays out plan to live with Covid for the long-term.

  • California’s plan aims to pick up rising viral transmission early and rapidly sequence new variants to determine whether vaccines and therapeutics are still effective.
  • The state also aims to rapidly deploy additional testing and hospital staff to regions impacted by an outbreak.
  • The state could reimpose mask mandates depending on the dominant variant and how much disruption it’s causing.
  • California on Thursday laid out a plan that manages Covid as a permanent aspect of life, anticipating future surges and new variants that may require temporary public health measures such as facemasks depending on how much the virus is disrupting economic and social activity.