February 11, 2016 Last Updated 9:12 am

Stock markets plunge again; Twitter user numbers worry tech press; Yahoo layoffs begin

Morning Brief: Twitter user growth stalls at 320 million, but revenue grows strongly, and losses are cut, yet the media focuses on user strategies and changes to platform

The US stock markets are set to plunge once again after European markets opened sharply lower. Dow futures point to a 300+ point drop at the open, with the NASDAQ set to open nearly 90 points down.

European market fell today, with the German DAX down 2.8 percent. The worst market was the FTSE Italia which was down over 4 percent.

Concerns that Europe is sliding towards recession, combined with talk that US interests rates, which were set to rise this year, may now stay where they are, have investors selling. US Treasurys soared, as the 10-year yield fell to 1.56 percent, a sign that investors fear the stock market will remain in bear territory for much of the year.

Time Inc. earnings and acquisition story has been moved to its own post – find it here.

Twitter reported yesterday that revenue grew by 90 percent, and net losses decreased by 27 percent in Q4 of last year. But the number of people using Twitter totaled 320 million, meaning user growth has stalled.

Twitter logoThat had the tech and business press questioning the direction of the company and clamoring for changes.

“We spent the last six months structuring the organization and our leadership team to move with greater agility and focus, reviewing the state of our service and strategy, learning from what we’ve shipped, and developing a stronger point of view about what we are and what we want to be,” the company said in its letter to shareholders.

But Twitter users are a bit scared the company will heed the calls of the tech press and make drastic changes to the service in order to attract new users. Rather than figure out how to create a profitable company with 320 million customers, the tech and business press seem to be pointing to some magic number of users that will automatically turn Twitter into a profit machine.

Reuters reported that Yahoo had instituted layoffs, eliminating 107 jobs in what is expected the elimination of more than 1,500 positions. The layoffs had previously been announced during the company’s earnings conference call.

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