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Market Recap: Nasdaq Records First Ten-Day Winning Streak Since 2015

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The Nasdaq Composite Index recorded its sixth straight record close on Thursday, buoyed by gains in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

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The technology-rich index posted the narrowest of gains, edging up 0.1% to 6,390.00. In doing so, it recorded its tenth straight gain, or the longest winning streak since February 2015.

On the most active stocks list, a total of 1,527 Nasdaq-listed companies finished higher. On the flip side, the index registered 1,341 losers.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index pared gains to finish flat at 2,473.45. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to 21,611.78 after insurer Travelers Cos posted disappointing quarterly earnings.

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Earlier this week, all three of Wall Street’s major indexes traded at record highs.

Volatility at Multi-Decade Lows

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX declined further on Thursday and approached its lowest level since 1993. The so-called “fear index,” which trades on a scale of 1-100, closed at 9.58.

Earlier this  year, the volatility gauge fell to 9.37, its lowest since 1993.

A VIX reading below 20 normally implies bullishness for the U.S. stock market.

Earnings Season Lifts Equities

Wall Street’s latest record-setting rally comes at the beginning of second-quarter earnings season. As of Friday, only 6% of S&P 500 companies had reported quarterly results, with 80% reporting earnings that were above the consensus estimate.

At this time last year, Wall Street was struggling with a so-called profit recession, as a strong dollar and plunging oil prices dragged on the major indexes.

Earnings continue on Friday with Dow blue-chip General Electric Co scheduled to report. Quarterly results will continue to dominate the headlines next week.

Nasdaq Composite Index

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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Analysis

Music: One Overlooked Use Case

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So far in this year, Ethereum has been the crypto star appreciating over 80% to a recent record of $1402. All this suggests that more and more applications are being created. We know this by the demand for Ether, the gas that drives the Ethereum network.

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The reason behind the explosion of Ether demand was confirmed by Ethereum co founder Steven Nerayoff in a CNBC interview where he claimed the number of Ethereum projects today is more than 10 times year ago levels.

One of those areas is the music business and there are several names appearing on the ICO list to add to your research agenda.

Why The Music Business Needs Help

Music may live forever but the business side has been in trouble for a long while. Over the last decade there have been only three years when the global value of music sales increased. The combination of digital music and outright pirating through peer-to-peer sharing has much to do with the long-term trend.

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Throughout the world there are 69 copyright and royalty societies given the responsibility of documenting, collecting and distributing music royalties. That means collecting a few pennies whenever a song is played on the radio, Internet or anywhere else. Four of the largest of these is in the US, followed by Japan, Germany and Britain. Their operations are truly byzantine.

Experts in the music-publishing field confirm the time between music usage and royalty payment can run close to 24 months. Even then not all royalties are distributed. According to my sources, there are often millions of dollars collected by royalty authorities everywhere that never make it to the entitled recipients. That sort of practice borders on criminal behavior but copyright and royalty societies operate in a sub-rosa manner making it difficult to understand their policies.

In the past just 4 major record labels controlled over 80% of the industry. These giants could afford a full time legal department to pursue royalty issues dominated the music industry. Today, however, independent labels represent almost one-third of the market. This means less democracy in the business with the young independent artist at a particular disadvantage.

Of course, musicians aren’t the only group of artists loosing out on their pay. There are writers, poets and painters that go largely unprotected.

The music business is just easier to track because it has more data. Yet in spite of all the information, the music industry is widely recognized for its lack of transparency. Blockchain technology has the ability to disrupt long-standing industry practices.

ICOs To The Rescue

The number of Ethereum based white knights is starting to appear on the horizon promising to rattle the industry and hopefully restore some democracy on behalf of the independent artist.

One simple business model comes from a startup SingularDTV who is attempting to build their ecosystem on top of Ethereum. Here is the basic value added proposal.

SingularDTV tokenizes the artist work. In doing so the artist is turning their music into a financial asset. Anyone who buys into an artist’s token owns a share of the creation and its income stream. The more people consume an artist creation, the higher goes the token price.

Only time will show if SingularDTV succeeds with this model. The consequence of this model is how it eliminates many of the middlemen and nefarious influences in the industry. Instead of singing on a street corner for bread, an artist could raise money upfront without relying on an advance from a record label.

According to SingularDTV, distributing content via blockchain would allow artists to skirt streaming platforms like Spotify to earn royalties on their own terms. Now that is true democracy.

SingularDTV may stand out a bit in the news due its recent ICO success in raising $8 million but they aren’t the only player in the music game. Names like Voise recently raised $1 million as well as Soundchain, Blokur and Opus to name a few.

I am no longer a registered investment advisor, which means I don’t go around making investment recommendations. So I will only suggest this group to put on your list of late night reading. Next time, I will take a closer look at more of these names.

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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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Cryptocurrencies Start Week on a Quiet Note as NEO Shines

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The broad Bitcoin-led correction continued to dominate trading in the crypto-segment throughout the weekend, as the most valuable coin drifted sideways above the key technical level at $13,000, with dwindling trading volumes.

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BTC remains in a declining short-term pattern, although the digital currency still holds well above the mini-crash lows from December, spending almost a month now in the daily range of the year-end plunge. We still expect the largest coin to complete the current cycle with a move below the crash lows and the $10,000 level after the stellar rally of the previous months. Key support is still found near $13,000, with further levels at $11,300, $10,000, $9000, and stronger levels at $8200 and $7700

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Altcoins also settled down across the boards with only a few coins registering strong activity. Ethereum and NEO have been among the coins making headlines, as the second largest coin continued to grind, higher still trading near its recent all-time high today. The price of the ETH token is moving in a short-term uptrend, in the face of the stretched momentum indicators, but we expect a meaningful correction soon, and long-term investors should wait for a more favorable technical setup before entering new positions, with key support levels at $1000, $850, $740, $625, and near $575.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple remained under heavy selling pressure in the meanwhile, as the oversold bounce of the weekend faded away and the coin got close last week’s lows again. As the short-term downtrend is intact, traders should stay away from entering new positions, while investors should wait for short-term sell-offs towards the main support levels at $1.50, $1.25, and $0.85 to add to their holdings.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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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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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Coins Rebound as Key Support Level Holds Bitcoin

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The $13,000 level in the price of Bitcoin continued to be the center attention of traders today, as the most valuable coin successfully tested the crucial support zone overnight, despite another brief dip below it. The other majors followed the subsequent bounce higher, with Ethereum pushing past $1250 once again, while Ripple reclaiming the $2 level.

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Despite the bounce, the short-term trend in Bitcoin is clearly bearish and the correction is still likely to continue, although the extreme long-term overbought readings are now cleared. We still expect a move towards the previous correction low near $11,300, with a likely dip below $10,000 before the end of the current cycle, with further important support levels are found at $9000, $8200, and $7700.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Ripple recovered slightly after nearing the $1.50 level and reaching short-term oversold readings, and the coin tested the primary resistance level at $2.1 yesterday in late trading. The currency remains in a strong short-term downtrend despite the bounce and the continuation of the correction is likely, although long-term investors could already accumulate new positions near the main support levels at  $1.50, $1.25, and $0.85.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum bounced of the dominant short-term trendline, but the coin remains overbought on all time-frames and we expect a trendline break in the coming days. That said, traders could hold smaller positions here with tight stops as a push towards the prior all-time high is still possible. Key support levels are found at $1000, $850, $740, $625, and near $575.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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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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