Investors dump stocks, gold and crypto as suddenly everything looks expensive

May 13, 2021, 9:30 AM UTC

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Good morning.

The global sell-off continues this morning as Asia and European shares, plus U.S. futures, get hit hard by yesterday’s surprisingly strong inflation data out of the States. Global stocks, as measured by the MSCI World Index, fell to a six-week low on Thursday, with tech particularly battered and bruised.

The difference today: there’s no relief in crypto. Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped a bomb yesterday evening, Tweeting the company will no longer take Bitcoin for purchases on account of [checks notes] …oh, right, the planet.

BTC tanked more than $10,000 at one point, wiping out $365 billion in market value, only to recover a tad.

Let’s check in on what else is moving the markets.

Markets update


  • The major Asia indexes are plunging in afternoon trading with the Nikkei down 2.5%. Taiwan stocks are down more than 10% this week alone.
  • Shares in SoftBank bombed lower by nearly 8% on Thursday, dragged lower by the worldwide sell-off in all things tech. That’s despite SoftBank reporting a record $45.8 billion fiscal year net profit on Wednesday.
  • Add palm oil to the long list of historically pricey commodities. “The world’s most consumed edible oil has surged more than 120% in the past year and burst through 4,500 ringgit ($1,091) a ton to a record on Wednesday,” Bloomberg reports.


  • The European bourses fell out of the gates this morning with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 1% in early trading, before slipping further. Every sector was in the red at the start. Haven’t seen that in a while.
  • Shares in Burberry plunged by 8% after the luxury fashion brand reported a 10% drop in fiscal year sales, yet another COVID casualty.
  • Canadian chipmaker Alphawave IP Group chose a rough day to go public. It plunged a whopping 17% minutes into its London trading debut.


  • U.S. futures have been edging lower all morning. That’s after the Dow lost nearly 2% on Wednesday, its worst session since January. Tech stocks fared even worse; the Nasdaq was off 2.7%.
  • The reason for yesterday’s sell-off came before the opening bell when consumer pricing data came in well above consensus estimates, triggering fears of inflation and Fed tapering. There should be winners (banks, mainly) in a rising-rates environment, but investors are in a dump-everything mood.
  • If there’s some relief today it can be found in rates this morning. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has fallen to 1.678%, a sign of some stabilization.


  • Gold is down a notch, trading around $1,820/ounce.
  • The dollar is flat after a big spike yesterday.
  • Crude is down with Brent below $69/barrel.
  • It’s a Bitcoin bloodbath. The cryptocurrency is trading below $50,000 at 3:30 a.m. ET, down more than 10%.
  • Lumber hawks, my colleague Lance Lambert digs into the latest numbers to chart out the rise in lumber prices, and what’s behind it.



The ₿uck stops here

🌍 > ₿

What a difference a year makes



Da bears!

According to FactSet, $122.81 is the proverbial line in the sand—AAPL’s 200-day moving average. It closed yesterday at $122.77, and it’s down in pre-market trading this morning.


See, people buy stuff, too


Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… Until then, there’s more news below.

Bernhard Warner

As always, you can write to or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

Today's reads

Shiba Inu. My pooch, Scilla, loves to play with this one particular puppy, a diminutive Japanese breed known as Shiba Inu. I met the owner yesterday at the dog park, and naturally we started chatting about the crypto coin, SHIB, that goes by the same name. If you're looking for a new crypto investment, or something to chat about at the dog park, here's a helpful explainer on the rise of the Shiba Inu coin. 

Leader of the pack. Yesterday, Fortune published its annual "World's Greatest Leaders" list, one of my favorite guides to the fascinating big movers of the past year, and why they're pushing for big changes. Case in point: the mRNA pioneers.

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Market candy


If you're wondering, like me, what a plunging Bitcoin price means on Tesla's bottom line, it's worth revisiting Shawn Tully's deep-dive on Tesla's big crypto bet. According to my Fortune colleague, Tesla paid, on average, $32,600 for each coin in Q1, so it's still in profit on its crypto trade. But Bitcoin has depreciated significantly in this quarter alone. Q2 will be a fascinating quarter for companies like Tesla that have Bitcoin on their balance sheet.

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