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Market Overview

The End Might be Nigh

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It’s been a few years since we’ve had a good claim that “the end of the world is coming.”

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The latest date given for our destruction is this Saturday, September 23rd. As the theory goes, the eclipse that we saw in the United States one month ago was natures way of announcing the new planet that has entered our solar system, Planet X.

As a survivor of 2012 and Y2K before that, I must say I’m a bit skeptical that Planet X is coming to destroy the earth. On the other hand, it never hurts to hug your loved ones and appreciate what we have.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

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Please note: Due to local holidays there will be no market update tomorrow or Friday. We will resume in the aftermath on Monday, September 25th.

 

Please note: All data, figures & graphs below are valid as of September 20th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Weather Overview

Our sincere empathy and compassion are with the citizens of Mexico today as they experienced the second major earthquake this month. This quake was a bit smaller, 7.1 in magnitude, but in a much more populated area very close to Mexico City.

Another quake hit the other side of the world last night in Fukushima Japan. The area is less populated and the magnitude was only 5.3 but the damaged nuclear reactor there is certainly a cause for concern.

As if two major earthquakes are not enough, Hurricane Maria is currently working her way through the islands and at the moment raining down on Puerto Rico.

With all this extreme weather one voice raises louder, that’s the voice of President Trump at the United Nations yesterday. Trump’s speech was strong and well accepted. It seems the world has now been fully desensitized to the warmongering tone of the new US President.

All this and the stock markets are calm. Things like natural disasters and talk of war no longer have any bearing because the Fed’s in charge now.

HUGE Fed Speech Today!!

The US Federal reserve bank has been the number one buyer of financial assets over the last decade. In order to support the economy after the crisis of 2008 they’ve been buying everything that Wall Street and the US government has been selling them.

So far they’ve managed to buy $4.5 Trillion worth of government bonds (blue), mortgages (red), and more. Of course, the Fed are the ones in charge of the money supply so in order to buy these things they simply created the money out of thin air.

The sheer amount of this investment has been causing markets to go up steadily, even in the face of fear, natural disasters, poor politics, and everything else that stands in their way.

This graph shows the Dow Jones over the same time frame as the graph above. So we can see the entire fall of 2008 and the ridiculous Fed driven recovery,

Notice that the Fed stopped their printing program in 2014 but the effects continue to trickle into the stock market.

Today, the Fed is expected to announce that the end is nigh and that they will begin the process of reducing their balance sheet. Meaning, that rather than buying bonds and mortgages, they’re going to start selling them.

Of course the markets are nervous, but they won’t show it. The big questions people are asking are:

How will this go down?

How long will the process of unwinding all those assets take?

Will they have a sell quota per month as they did when they were on the buy side?

What’s their target balance sheet? Meaning, at the end of the process, how many assets will they remain holding?

On top of that, many traders remain hyper-focused on interest rates. Though they are not likely to raise the rates today, any indication of an additional rate hike this year could strengthen the Dollar.

What else?

Oh yeah, elections in Germany over the weekend. At this point, it seems like everybody is ready for a sweeping victory from the incumbent Angela Merkel. Really, the matter of what her coalition will look like is a bit less important.

Still, it may be prudent to check your portfolio before the weekend for any assets that could be affected by a surprise.

Also, Friday should be fun to watch Theresa May’s speech in Italy about Brexit. She really needs to get her act together and I have a feeling she’s going to put on a good show.

Wishing you an amazing rest of the week and a peaceful weekend.

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.
The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

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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Cryptocurrencies

Crypto Pullback – Where’s the Support?

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Looks like we have some panic selling on the top cryptos this morning.

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Ripple has slipped below support of $1.5 per XRP and bitcoin has just fallen through $12,000.

The reason for the sell-off is not quite clear but we can see reduced volumes from Japan and South Korea who are usually the ones doing the heavy buying in this market.

In today’s market webinar we’re going to talk about where might be a good place to buy this dip and how to position your portfolio during this kind of pullback.

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The webinar will be at 15:00 GMT and is open to everyone.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1157869693061562371

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Good Returns
  • Swiss Depreciation
  • Crypto Pullback – How low can you go?

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 16th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional markets

Today investors on Wall Street will be coming back from their long weekend in a particularly good mood. The stocks have been flying in Asia so far this year and the Europeans have done a good job recouping the losses from December.

Wall Street herself has been having a record year so far so as long as these trends continue…

Even the bond market, which gave us a bit of a fright last week seems to be cooling down. The US 20 year treasuries have found support at 122.5 and are now holding near their yearly average price.

Swiss Event Today

Thomas Jordan rarely moves the markets but when he does, he does big. Today he will be speaking at the University of Zurich and delivering a speech about how money is created. A subject I’m sure we all would like to know more about.

No doubt he’ll be talking about how the central banks of the world have increased the amount of money in the system over the last decade and how the local banks have leveraged this money.

What he probably should be talking about is how to reduce the money supply from a system that is flooded with capital.

We’ll be watching his speech today with great interest, which will take place at 18:00 Swiss time. Just after our webinar. 😉

For reference, here’s a chart of the Euro against the Swiss Franc. Just about every large movement on this chart, and there are quite a few notable ones, have been created by Mr. Jordan. So it pays to pay attention to what he says.

The Crypto Pullback

The pullback seems to be coming from a lack of volumes in Asia. Cryptotraders in Japan and South Korea tend to dominate this market but so far this year have been notably silent.

Reports from Bloomberg of a further crackdown in China are not helping things but the real story here is Japan.

Japan was the first country in the world to fully legalize bitcoin as a currency last March and investments in BTC have reportedly raised the countries GDP significantly. The digital currency frenzy is also making a blockbuster entrance into Japanese Pop Culture with the new girl band…

So to see Japanese Bitcoin volumes of just 11% of the market at 18:00 Tokyo time is kind of odd.

My best guess is that Japanese and Korean traders are simply tired of paying the premium and are waiting for the market to even out. The price per bitcoin in these two countries is usually more than 25% above the prices in the West. So they might just be taking a step back, waiting for the FUD to blow over and get a better entry price.

The issue is that the markets have gone up so quickly that they didn’t have enough time to build in proper support. Here we can see that bitcoin does have some temporary support at the moment but if it does fall through it we could easily find ourselves below $10,000 pretty quickly and that’s a scary thought for some.

Whatever is causing this pullback it is making a lot of people nervous, which is why we should always remember that even though crypto has been the best performing asset class in history over the last year it’s still incredibly risky. No doubt many will see this dip as an excellent opportunity to get in but anybody who bought at the top is not doing well at the moment.

Hope to see you in the webinar. Let’s have an awesome day ahead!

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation. The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro. Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

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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Market Overview

Crypto Proxy Stocks Follow Market Lower on ‘Bloody Tuesday’

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“Bloody Tuesday” wasn’t just limited to cryptocurrencies, but stocks with direct and indirect exposure to the digital asset class. These once celebrated companies posted sharp losses on Tuesday alongside the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies.

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The Decline of Crypto Proxy Stocks

In terms of losses, shares of Riot Blockchain Inc. (RIOT) were among the hardest hit. The firm plunged 16.5% to $18.28, the lowest since early December. Riot  is the first pure play blockchain company to be listed on the Nasdaq.

LongFin Corp (LFIN), a U.S.-based alternative finance company, shed 8.5% to close at $39.96.

Meanwhile, tZero parent Overstock.com (OSTK) plunged 11% to $70.25 for its lowest settlement in nearly a month.

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Other crypto proxy stocks to fall on Tuesday included chipmaker Nvidia Corp (NVDA), Canada-based Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (HIVE) and Eastman Kodak Co. (KODK), the imaging company that has its eye on the mining enterprise.

These companies are no stronger to crypto-related volatility, having routinely been dragged around by the performance of bitcoin. Losses for these stocks were practically inevitable on Tuesday as the global cryptocurrency market declined by as much as $190 billion.

Virtually every cryptocurrency in the top 100 was down on rumblings that South Korea was considering extreme measures to eliminate speculation from the cryptocurrency market. At the time of writing, authorities were still weighing proposals to rein in speculation on domestic exchanges. Seoul announced Monday it would decide on a next course of action after “sufficient consultation and coordination of opinions.”

The Future of Crypto Stocks

Although it’s difficult to project where the crypto equity class is headed, it’s important to distinguish established technology companies from those looking to pivot into digital currency for some publicity. The likes of Overstock.com and Nividia are certainly some of the more promising businesses to venture into cryptocurrency. However, the lesser-known players will still be snatched up by investors given the relative dearth of traditional assets tied to cryptocurrency.

That being said, institutional investors are starting to get a taste of cryptocurrency. Last month, bitcoin futures hit the market, joining a small list of traditional assets with direct exposure to the crypto market. In addition to futures contracts, Grayscale operates the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which recently launched a 91-for-1 stock split. This means that each investor in the fund will get an additional 91 shares for every one share they own.

GBTC also declined sharply on Tuesday, with the market price per share falling 11.8% to $1,731.50. The fund could be vulnerable to bigger declines on Wednesday as bitcoin prices continue drifting lower. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency touched a session low of $10,047.06 on Tuesday, its lowest since early October.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

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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Market Overview

I Have a Dream Today: HK, Oil & Gold Up, ETC and Ethereum

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Today we celebrate the birthday of a true American hero. One who fought for freedom for all in a country that promised the world and delivered nothing.

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“In a sense, we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.”

King said in his famous speech, referring directly to the promise of freedom on which the United States was founded but “it is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note…”

Indeed, the United States seems to enjoy writing checks that it cannot cash. Still, Martin Luther King Jr. was quite optimistic. He believed that his people need only demand payment on that check for its promises of freedom to be redeemed.

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By now many of Dr. King’s initial demands have been met but the fight has evolved. Victims of inequality are not necessarily defined by the color of their skin, nor do they reside solely within the borders of the United States.

We must press on in his symbolic shadow and demand freedom for everyone throughout this entire planet that we all call home.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Record Run in HK
  • Oil & Gold up on Weaker USD
  • Crypto Atmosphere

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 15th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

The Asian markets have put on a fantastic show so far today. The China A50 index has now surpassed it’s highs from April of 2015 and is now the highest it’s been since 2008.

The gains in China were propelled further by what’s happening in Hong Kong. The founder and CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma announced that he is considering listing Alibaba shares on the Hang Seng.

Alibaba’s shares in the US currently hold a record for most stocks sales in an IPO and the company’s daily turnover is about 30% of the entire Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Furthermore, there are rumors that a subsidiary of the Chinese Insurance giant Ping An will be looking to raise $60 Billion from the Hong Kong market in April.

Money comes to money, and as we’ve seen so many times in the crypto market. More activity on an exchange means that everything listed on that exchange can see a boost.

Sinking Buck

The second strongest trend of 2017 was the declining US Dollar. The Dollar Index went from a high of about 103.50 in January to a low of 91.4 in December.

2018 hasn’t been great for the buck either and it’s gotten off to a rather rotten start.

Along with the weakening Dollar comes a strength in commodities. Gold and Oil are priced in USD so they have a very strong reverse corolation.

As we can see here, since Thursday morning the USD has declined 1.8% and Gold has climbed by the same amount.

Though Oil has been a lot more volatile than gold or the buck, it’s strength lately has been astounding. This strong breakout above $60 was certainly unexpected by many…

Don’t get me wrong, oil rising against a weaker Dollar is understandable, but oil rising against more production in the United States is baffeling.

Friday’s Baker Hughes report shows that 280 new rigs came online in the United States over the last year.

Very likely we could see those rigs really get going now that they can get $60+ a barrel for their output.

Crypto Market

It’s easy to make money when everything is rising but when thing get choppy like they are now it can start to get a bit frustrating, especially for beginning traders.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a general pumping pattern where one specific crypto will dominate the market for a few days before flatlining or even pulling back.

Over the weekend, this momentum has been on Ethereum Classic, which went from $31 to $46 in about 60 hours but now may have lost the propulsion.

Ether Classic (ETC) is the hardest crypto for me to explain simply because I don’t see it as useful. It’s not a great store of value and is not meant to be a medium of exchange. So I’m scratching my head trying to figure out why crypto traders latched onto this one.

Of course, if we zoom out a bit we can see the incredible gains of ETC’s younger sister ETH. A platform that has hundreds of projects being built on top of it and currently processes more transactions than any other blockchain.

The present rise in ETC might just indicate that alternative investors are looking for a bit more risk at the moment, and if that’s the case we may see some of the altcoins or even the exotic cryptos gaining a bit. In the chart above we can spot a nice rising trendline (yellow) but if that fails to hold we should have a nice support level just below $900 a token.

Remember: Several of the traditional markets will be closed tonight for the holiday in the USA. Crypto trades 24/7. This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation. The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro. Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

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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