Market Update: U.S. Stocks Plunge as Oil Selloff Intensifies; Bitcoin Cash Community Looks to Oust ‘Fake Satoshi’
U.S. stocks declined sharply on Friday, with most major sectors reporting big losses as oil prices headed for their tenth consecutive down session, sparking renewed fears of a slowdown in global growth. Cryptocurrency prices continued lower heading into the quieter weekend session, as attention shifted to the upcoming hard fork of bitcoin cash.
Stocks End Strong Week on a Soft Note
After a week filled with gains, all three major U.S. stock indexes finished lower on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 201.92 points, or 0.8%, to 25,989.30. Blue-chips Cisco Systems Inc. (CSC), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) were the biggest decliners, falling at least 2.2% each.
The broader S&P 500 Index declined 0.9% to close at 2,781.01, with eight of 11 primary sectors seeing red. Information technology and the newly created communication services category were the biggest losers.
Sliding technology shares contributed to a steep drop in the Nasdaq Composite Index. The tech-laden average plunged 1.7% to finish at 7,406.90.
Oil’s Bear Market Continues
Oil’s protracted selloff intensified on Friday, fueling concerns of a synchronized downshift in global growth.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures for December settlement crossed below $60 a barrel for the first time since March, capping off a staggering 22% decline over the past five weeks. The U.S. futures benchmark was last down 73 cents, or 1.2%, to trade at $59.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international futures benchmark, retreated 76 cents, or 1.1%, to $69.89 a barrel.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet in Abu Dhabi over the weekend to discuss possible output strategies for 2019. If OPEC backs renewed output cuts, it would mark the second time this year that the producer group has shifted course on its output strategy.
Bitcoin Cash Community Outs ‘Fake Satoshi’
The development community behind bitcoin cash is working together to oust Craig Steven Wright from its ranks, according to Bitmain founder Jihan Wu. Wright, the so-called ‘fake Satoshi’, is part of a triad of influential actors pushing for the system-wide upgrade on Nov. 15.
“The whole BCH community are working together to kick Fake Satoshi out,” Wu said, as quoted by CCN. “The resistance against cult leader proves the inner strength and sophistication of the BCH ecosystem.”
Wright seems to have crossed a red line after threatening to attack the community for backing Bitcoin ABC, the main implementation of the blockchain. According to CCN, Wright allegedly issued the following statement in writing:
“Side with ABC, you hate bitcoin, you are my enemy. You have f–king no idea what that means. You Will. I AM Satoshi. Have a nice life. You will now discover me when pissed off. And, no. You Could have had proof. Your choice. F–k you.”
Following an epic run-up in price, bitcoin cash has come back down to earth over the last 48 hours. The BCH price is down 5.1% on Friday to $560. Over the past seven days, the fourth largest cryptocurrency has gained 22.5%.
The overall cryptocurrency market was worth $212.9 billion on Friday, down from a high of $221 billion earlier in the week.
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.
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