Market Update: U.S. Stocks Rise on China Trade Optimism; Bitcoin Holds Firm as Volatility Plummets

U.S. stocks advanced Monday, with the S&P 500 inching closer to record highs as investors held onto hopes for an easing of the trade war with China.

Stocks Rise

All of Wall Street’s major indexes recorded gains in early-week trading, with the S&P 500 Index coming within half a percentage point of record highs. The large-cap average eventually settled at 2,857.05, having gained 0.2% from the previous close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 869.37 points, or 0.3%, to close at 25,758.69, its highest since January.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1% to 7,821.01.

Shares tied to primary industries were among the best performers Monday. The S&P 500’s energy index rose 0.6%, while industrials and materials rose at least 0.7%.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX edged slightly lower on Monday to reach its lowest level in ten days. The so-called “fear index” fell 1.4% to 12.46 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.

Path of Least Resistance

Wall Street’s path of least resistance is higher following news that the U.S. and China are looking to rekindle trade negotiations later this month. As Hacked reported Friday, Washington and Beijing are plotting a road map for resolving their lingering trade dispute.

Markets are striking a more optimistic tone in the wake of yet another solid earnings quarter. Low trade volumes are also expected to keep the upward momentum on track heading into next month’s Labor Day weekend.

In terms of upcoming events, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday will publish the transcript of its most recent policy meeting, where officials voted to keep interest rates on hold. Later this week, global finance leaders will arrive in Wyoming for the annual Jackson Hole Symposium.

Bitcoin Holds Firm

The bitcoin price continued to trade in a narrow range on Monday, though the technical charts showed greater potential for upside. The leading digital currency traded at $6,452 on Bitfinex after hitting a high of $6,524. At current values, bitcoin owns 52.2% of the total cryptocurrency market cap.

In other news, USDT has moved into eighth spot on the market cap rankings after Tether, its issuing company, printed $415 million worth of the stablecoin this month. USDT now has a market capitalization of $2.7 billion, leapfrogging Cardano’s ADA coin.

The cryptocurrency market’s combined value on Monday was $214.2 billion, little changed compared with 24 hours ago. Trade volumes hovered above $11.2 billion, which was consistent with Sunday levels.

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.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi

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