February 6, 2018 / 4:00 PM / 9 months ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Wall Street recovers after historic falls and a Reuters Special Report investigates Puerto Rico’s housing crisis.

A trader reacts as he watches screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Highlights

U.S. stock markets bounced after a torrid opening, bargain-hunters and gains for Apple pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average into positive territory after two days of heavy losses.

Some of the biggest U.S. investors believe the bond market has slipped into a bear phase. Others believe it has turned into one of the best buying opportunities in years.

Bitcoin briefly slid to below $6,000 to its lowest point so far this year in a sell-off that has seen the cryptocurrency lose more than half its value. Bitcoin has fallen heavily in recent sessions as a risk-off mood across markets, worries about a regulatory clampdown, and moves by banks to ban buying bitcoin on credit cards have rattled investors, pushing prices lower.

World

A man removes stalks from red chilli peppers at a farm in Shertha village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Amit Dave

The United Nations called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Syria of at least one month as heavy air strikes were reported to have killed at least 30 people in rebel-held areas near Damascus and in the northwest.

U.S. and Puerto Rico officials face a major problem after Hurricane Maria – about half of the island’s residents live in illegally built homes that aren’t up to code, making them more vulnerable to disasters.

Poland’s president said he will sign into law a bill imposing jail terms for suggesting the country was complicit in the Holocaust, defying criticism from Israel, the United States and activists.

Commentary: Unless something miraculous happens, the drought-hit city of Cape Town will become the first major city in which the taps literally run dry. But it's a cop-out to blame climate change for the looming Day Zero, writes William Saunderson-Meyer. Political blunders, dysfunction and "a stifling lack of pragmatism" by South Africa's ruling African National Congress lie "at the nub of the unfolding natural disaster."

Business

A pick up in currency market volatility over the last few days after years of suppression by central banks’ easy-money policies has prompted some investors to look again at protecting against, or profiting from, sharp moves.

General Motors posted better-than-expected quarterly results as cost-cutting and higher vehicle prices offset a double-digit decline in U.S. sales volume and said it expected 2018 would be a strong year globally and in North America.

Oil fell for a third day, as a rout in global equities triggered losses across bonds, cryptocurrencies and commodities, although the crude price is in positive territory so far this year.

Digital currencies such as bitcoin will be in the spotlight again as lawmakers in the U.S. Senate questioned top markets watchdogs over how to better regulate the highly volatile and risky emerging asset class.

Breakingviews - Credit Suisse’s reputation is taking a knock from a shock surge in global stock market volatility. The value of an exchange-traded fund set up by the Swiss bank to benefit from calm markets has collapsed due to recent turbulence.

Top stories from Reuters TV

North Korea 'possibly' behind Coincheck hack - sources

Israel's migrant deportation plays on Jewish 'moral compass'

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