U.S. Stocks Slide, Trump Cancels Putin Meeting and “Bitcoin” Searches Soar

U.S. stocks overcame a volatile start to finish only slightly lower on Thursday, as markets turned their attention to the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In cryptocurrency news, Google searches for the term “bitcoin” rose this week to the highest level in eight months, signaling renewed interest in digital assets among casual observers.

Stocks Lose Steam

Equity markets rose in afternoon trading before giving up gains in the final hour of the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 27.05 points, or 0.1%, to 25,339.38. The blue-chip index surged more than 600 points on Wednesday, one of its single-best performances of the year.

The much broader S&P 500 Index edged down 0.2% to finish at 2,737.80. Primary sectors tied to energy and materials were the day’s top performers. On the opposite side of the spectrum, financials and information technology fell sharply.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index settled down 0.3% at 7,273.08.

Trump Cancels G20 Meeting with Putin

U.S. President Donald Trump has abruptly cancelled a G20 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Moscow upended Ukrainian vessels near Crimea, reignited tensions over the annexed region.

“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting…. in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!” Trump tweeted Thursday shortly after departing for Buenos Aires.

As Hacked reported earlier in the day, the Kremlin confirmed that both leaders would arrange a face-to-face meeting Saturday to discuss bilateral relations and security. In the absence of U.S.-Russia dialogue, attention shifts solely to upcoming trade talks between President Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The meeting is expected to begin Saturday.

Bitcoin Google Searches Soar

Bitcoin’s epic collapse and subsequent recovery has caught the attention of passive market observers. According to the latest Google search trends, queries for “bitcoin” have surged this week to the highest level in eight months.

The Google trend score for bitcoin is now 14/100. It peaked at a perfect 100 during the height of the bull market last December.

The decline in search trends for terms like “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency” coincided with a mass exodus of retail traders from the market. This, in turn, dragged the cryptocurrency market cap from a record high of $840 billion all the way down to $115 billion (Sunday’s low). Over the past four days, the crypto market cap recovered as much as $27 billion in lost value.

In the wake of Wednesday’s sharp recovery, most major assets were trading lower over the 24-hour cycle. The bitcoin price is currently hovering right around $4,235, having declined 2% on the day. XRP and Ethereum were down more than 4% each.

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 Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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