Reuters blog archive

from Breakingviews:

Rampant market fear clarifies global divide

By Richard Beales

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Suddenly, fear has overwhelmed greed. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds slumped below 1.9 percent at one stage on Wednesday, and the 2 percent slide in the S&P 500 Index erased what remained of this year’s gains, although the index ended the trading day down just under 1 percent. It all augurs poorly for the expected end next month of the Federal Reserve bond-buying program. Yet the domestic economy has been steadily improving. Slowing growth elsewhere presents the bigger worry.

U.S. Treasury yields

One sign of that broad concern is tumbling oil prices, to well below $90 a barrel, a downward trend echoed in the prices of other commodities. That in turn reflects expectations of softening demand growth in big economies like China’s. Low inflation – potentially going lower still – in Europe is another symptom of relatively sluggish growth in many parts of the world. The decline in U.S. producer prices reported on Wednesday played a role in the selloff, as may have the frenzy surrounding two U.S. cases of Ebola.

Market volatility and oil

All the same, America’s economy isn’t doing badly. Second-quarter GDP growth rebounded to an annualized 4.6 percent, and the IMF last week actually upgraded its forecast for U.S. economic expansion to 2.2 percent in 2014 and 3.1 percent in 2015. Worldwide growth expectations, however, were downgraded to 3.5 percent in the second half of this year and 3.8 percent next.

from Alison Frankel:

Keep Eric Cantor out of terror-funding case: U.S. Congress, Bank of China

Who would ever have predicted that convicted al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui would be more eager to provide testimony to help terror victims than former Virginia congressman and House majority leader Eric Cantor? Moussaoui, as I told you yesterday, has contacted the federal district court in Brooklyn, offering to provide information about al Qaeda funding to plaintiffs suing Arab Bank and other financial institutions. Cantor, meanwhile, has been subpoenaed in a different terror-funding case - accusing Bank of China of financing Palestinian Islamic Jihad - to testify about his meeting in Israel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in August 2013. On Sept. 30, the U.S. House of Representatives' general counsel moved to quash the subpoena.

Lawyers for the House argued on Cantor's behalf that the subpoena is precluded by the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which is supposed to shield government officials from testifying about their actions as lawmakers. "It is difficult to overstate how crippling it would be to federal officials' efforts to carry out sensitive discussions with foreign officials if those discussions were to be readily exposed to discovery," the House quash motion said.

from Photographers' Blog:

A rescue at sea

Mediterranean Sea

By Darrin Zammit Lupi

A barely perceptible dot on the horizon, disappearing every few seconds behind the rolling waves, a rubber dinghy carrying a group of migrants is very easily missed if you don’t know where to look.

Handout photo shows a group of 104 sub-Saharan Africans on board a rubber dinghy wait to be rescued by the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station some 25 miles off the Libyan coast

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship Phoenix set off from the Italian island of Lampedusa the night before in the middle of a lightning storm and had, for the past five hours, been making its way towards the dinghy’s last known position.

from James Saft:

Fed magic fades as risk assets slide

Oct 15 (Reuters) - What matters isn't so much the proximate
cause of the recent downdraft in stocks, but the underlying

Ebola, European weakness and some bad data out of the U.S.
have all played their role in sparking a fall of more than 9
percent in the S&P 500 in less than a month. What's truly
remarkable isn't that there was bad news, but that this time the
bad news seems immune to the tonic of central bank promises.

from Breakingviews:

Qualcomm signals $2.5 bln belief in Bluetooth

By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Qualcomm’s 1.6 billion pound ($2.5 billion) deal to buy Britain’s CSR sends a positive signal to rivals on Bluetooth. The U.S. chipmaker’s $120 billion market cap means the purchase isn’t a stretch - but it comes at a high price and an odd time.

from Reuters FYI:

Texas won’t leaf voters alone

Visitors view the autumn foliage of acer trees in the Old Arboretum at Westonbirt in southwest England October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Visitors view the autumn foliage of acer trees in the Old Arboretum at Westonbirt in southwest England October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville


Gallery: Fall - it's not just for screensavers anymore

Save yourself the three-hour leaf-peeping tour and check out Reuters pictures of beautiful fall foliage.

from Data Dive:

Finger pointing doesn’t bring back Iraq’s dead

Last night The New York Times released an astounding report detailing the U.S. military's discovery and subsequent cover-up of secret caches of chemical weapons in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. 

Almost immediately, partisans on the right took to the Web to vindicate President Bush's justification for the 2003 invasion, and just as quickly, those on the left rebutted the assertion.

from Mark Jones:

Finger pointing doesn’t bring back Iraq’s dead

Finger pointing doesn’t bring back Iraq’s dead

from Mark Jones:

What to expect from Apple’s product launch event on Thursday

What to expect from Apple’s product launch event on Thursday

from Global Markets Forum Dashboard:

Keep calm and carry on

E As a second Texas healthcare worker tests positive for ebola and the World Health Organization warns there could be between five- and ten-thousand new cases a week in West Africa by December, our forum guest this morning reassured us there was no need to panic.

"Ebola virus will not cause any kind of epidemic in Europe. We may well have medical accidents however, as in Spain and in Dallas," Dr Derek Gatherer of the department of biomedical and life sciences at the University of Lancaster said. "We don't need to worry, as individuals. Only those who are travelling to the three affected countries are at risk."