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Daily Update: U.S. Stocks Retreat as Trump Reshuffles Cabinet

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U.S. stocks declined Tuesday, reversing a strong open as political turmoil in Washington weighed on investor sentiment.

Nasdaq Pulls Back from Record

All of Wall Street’s major indexes finished in negative territory on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index pulling back from record territory. The technology-driven index fell 1% to close at 7,511.01.

The broader S&P 500 Index was down 0.6% by the close to settle at 2,765.31. Seven of 11 sectors contributed to the loss, with financials and information technology each shedding more than 1%. Energy and consumer discretionary stocks also posted firm losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 171.58 points, or 0.7%, to settle at 25,007.03.

Al three major indexes started the day in positive territory before giving back gains on political headlines involving the Trump administration.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX rose for a second consecutive day but continued to trade below the historic average. Wall Street’s gauge of investor anxiety rose edged up more than 3% to 16.34, on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.

Tillerson Out, Pompeo In as Secretary of State

President Donald Trump removed Rex Tillerson from his post as Secretary of State on Tuesday, a move that caught markets and members of his own party off guard. CIA Director Mike Pompeo was immediately named the successor, ending months of public discord between Trump and his former Secretary of State.

The decision to replace Tillerson comes as the Trump administration embarks on high-stakes negotiations with North Korea on matters ranging from economics to Pyongyang’s nuclear program. Although the Secretary of State is not considered a key decision-maker on economic policy, the cabinet shuffle triggered renewed anxiety over the internal dynamics of the Trump administration.

Trump praised Pompeo for earning “the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernizing our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the international intelligence community.”

Inflation Rises

A closely-watched report on U.S. inflation came in as expected Tuesday, all but confirming the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates later this month.  The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2% in February, which translated into a year-over-year gain of 2.2%, the Department of Labor reported from Washington. That was slightly ahead of January’s 2.1% annual pace.

So-called core inflation, which strips away volatile goods such as food and energy, also rose 0.2% on month and 1.8% annually.

The U.S. central bank keeps close tabs on inflation to determine the future path of interest rates. Fed officials are widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter point at next week’s FOMC meeting.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 546 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Coinbase Explores Adding Dozens of Altcoins for Custody, XRP Included

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Leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is mulling the expansion of its custody platform to include approximately three dozen altcoins, a sign that it is anticipating more institutional investor capital. Among the coins being added to custody is XRP, which investors have anxiously been awaiting access to on the exchange’s trading platform. But Coinbase made clear that “this announcement has no bearing on trading-based products,” leaving traders back where they started in their push for greater access.

Coinbase walks a slippery slope with the addition of new assets, as it was blamed for alleged insider trading in the rollout of Bitcoin Cash. In the custody announcement, the exchange carefully worded its actions, maintaining that it “has not yet considered these assets for trading.” A list of the digital currencies that Coinbase wants to add can be found here in an announcement by Coinbase Custody Product Lead Sam McIngvale.

Coinbase can’t be too careful, as even today The Wall Street Journal reported about scams that affecting trading on major cryptocurrency exchanges, including the likes of Binance, the Journal story reveals. According to their analysis, which involved scouring “trading data and online communications among traders,” nearly 200 pump-and-dump schemes involving $825 million in trades unfolded across more than 100 coins in 2018 through July 31.

It’s a type of scam that the U.S. SEC has warned investors about, and the Journal documents an apparent quick and sharp increase in the price of coins followed by a similarly sharp and quick decline. Trading groups like Big Pump Signal are reportedly using popular crypto platforms like Telegram to pump a little-known coin, after which time the curious trading begins.

Coinbase Lack of Effect

Clearly, Coinbase’s announcement did little to bolster the mood of the broader cryptocurrency market, which has been trading in the doldrums all weekend. One of the standout altcoins has been Ethereum Classic (ETC), which is only up fractionally in the last 24-hour period but yesterday was up by a double-digit percentage. Coinbase is in the midst of testing the integration of ETC onto its trading platform, which is something traders want more of and are willing to celebrate.

Meanwhile, reports earlier this year revealed that Ripple was trying to buy its way onto U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Gemini to no avail. While regulators cleared bitcoin and Ethereum from being designated as securities, they stopped short of including the third largest cryptocurrency in their decision, which suggests that they may be leaning toward a security classification for the coin in which Ripple is the majority investor.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 36 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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EOS Is Targeting ‘50,000 Tx per Second’: Mike Novogratz

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EOS in recent days unveiled the latest version of EOSIO, which is V1.1.0. The release comes on the heels of a botched mainnet launch in June that left many believers doubting the project’s ability to deliver what it promises – scalability and speed for decentralized applications. But if you ask billionaire trader Mike Novogratz, who is at the helm of merchant bank Galaxy Digital, the EOS blockchain protocol, which is designed for enterprise applications, has only scratched the surface of its potential.

“It’s already doing 5,000 transactions a second. It should be doing 50,000 transactions per second in a few months,” Novogratz told TheStreet.com.

Novogratz, who previously ran nearly $9 billion in assets under management at Fortress, pointed to EOS’ unique delegated proof of stake, which was created by BlockOne CTO Dan Larimer (who is also behind Steem Blockchain and Bitshares). EOS has fewer than two dozen block producers, which combined with their “big computing power behind them” is what sets EOS apart from competing blockchains, Novogratz says.

EOS is the maiden project of Block.one, the latter of which Novogratz partnered with earlier this year for a $325 million EOS.IO Ecosystem Fund to be directed toward projects on the EOS platform. So he has a vested interest in seeing it fulfill 50,000 transactions per second. Scalability is a front-and-center issue for blockchains currently, with the Ethereum network targeting sharding and Bitcoin pursuing SegWit and the Lightning Network.

It’s been weeks since the EOS mainnet launch, and since that time the EOS coin hasn’t really impressed investors. While the EOS team boasts scalability and speedy transactions, the mainnet launch took longer than many investors were anticipating, which triggered a selloff in the EOS coin to its current price of approximately $8. But if EOS could bolster the number of transactions per second, that is the type of development that could send the EOS price back to its range of $13-$14 leading up to the mainnet launch.

Source: CoinMarketCap

EOS is the No. 5 cryptocurrency based on market cap. Stellar (XLM), however, which recently muscled Litecoin out of the way for the No. 6 spot, has momentum on its side. Stellar is the platform of choice for IBM to launch its USD-backed stablecoin. As a result, XLM, today’s modest declines notwithstanding, has seen its Relative Strength Index (RSI) soar to record levels this year. Still, XLM is hovering at a market cap of $5.4 billion compared to EOS at $7.2 billion. If EOS could recapture the confidence of investors, say with achieving 50,000 transactions per second, it won’t have to keep looking over its shoulder at XLM.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 36 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Ox (ZRX) Receives Boost From Korean Markets – 79% Weekly Growth

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Ox (ZRX) is currently riding the crest of a wave which has carried it to a three week high, and a token value of $1.04. That adds up to more than 79% gains since June 29th, when one ZRX token was worth $0.58.

Today’s movements show a 22% growth, most of which came in the last 14 hours alone. The markets have just begun to turn upwards, so we might be seeing Ox grow even more in the next few hours. Don’t be surprised if it pushes 30% growth for the day and tickles the undergrowth of $1.10.

A price of $1.16 would represent 100% gains over three weeks, but that may be out of reach for the time being. The price has since begun to even out in the high $0.98s, but things move quickly in the crypto world and the next 24 hours will tell its own tale.

The Korean Touch

Ox was recently listed on the Bithumb exchange, opening it up to the South Korean market. The ZRX token was already trading against the South Korean Won (KRW) on the Upbit exchange, however the volume recorded there pales in comparison to Bithumb.

Bithumb is responsible for 31% of the daily ZRX trades, all of which has been against South Korean Won. That volume amounts to almost $7 million at the time of writing, out of the total daily volume of just under $22 million.

Bitcoin trades aren’t far behind, with ZRX/BTC trades making up 28% of the daily volume on Binance alone. At the start of the day, BTC trades made up the majority of the volume, but those were soon eclipsed by the sudden surge of trades coming from South Korea.

McAfee’s Predictions

The outspoken and controversial John McAfee threw out a scattering of predictions at the beginning of June, and while they haven’t come to fruition just yet, it seems that at least one of them might be on the way.

McAfee predicted that QuantStamp (QSP) would hit $0.50 by August. He declared that ClearPoll (POLL) would hit $2.40 in the same time frame; and he pointed to August 1st as the date when Ox would reach $2.90.

Such predictions are good for grabbing headlines and not much else, but looking at the growth of Ox in the past week there is an outside chance given the 79% growth over the last five days.

Ox’s movements over the past day have pushed it ahead of Aeternity into the 27th spot in market cap rankings. Lisk is still some way ahead and has just started to spike as LSK coins attempt to push past $1.90. Just ahead of Lisk is Zilliqa, which has grown over 10% for the day and continues its recent run of upward spurts.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 38 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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