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SEC Account Compromised: False Bitcoin ETF Endorsement Sparks Crypto Volatility

Social media giant X, formerly known as Twitter, reported on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fell victim to a compromised account, resulting in a fabricated announcement endorsing a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The platform disclosed that a preliminary investigation indicated a breach via a third party accessing a phone number linked to the SEC’s account. It was revealed that the account lacked two-factor authentication at the time of the breach.

This revelation followed a misleading post from the official X account of the SEC, claiming approval for an ETF linked to the live price of bitcoin. The fraudulent announcement triggered a momentary surge in bitcoin value, prompting a response from Chair Gary Gensler, denouncing the tweet as “unauthorized.”

Bitcoin briefly surged to nearly $48,000 after the fake SEC post but then dropped 1.8% to $46,109.7 by 22:51 ET (03:51 GMT).

Amid anticipation of an actual SEC decision on a live bitcoin ETF, the cryptocurrency experienced a significant increase in the first week of 2024. Various fund managers, including BlackRock Inc (NYSE:BLK) and Wisdomtree, adjusted their ETF applications based on SEC guidance.

Despite these adjustments, the SEC has consistently rejected spot bitcoin ETF applications, citing concerns about inadequate safeguards against cryptocurrency price manipulation, leading to criticism from cryptocurrency supporters. They argue that an approved spot ETF could attract substantial institutional investment without the need for direct cryptocurrency investment.

However, skeptics question the potential influx of institutional capital following an ETF approval, citing dwindling investor interest in existing ETFs that track bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange over the past couple of years.

Furthermore, the broader crypto industry is grappling with significant trust erosion due to high-profile frauds and bankruptcies from 2022-2023. Trading volumes, notably in bitcoin, remain below the peaks witnessed during the 2021 bull run.

Nvidia Breaks Records with AI-Driven Graphics Launch, Stock Skyrockets 6.4%

U.S. stocks retreated Tuesday, handing back some of the previous session’s tech-led gains amid caution ahead of the release of key inflation data later in the week.

By 12:05 ET (17:05 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 170 points, or 0.45%, S&P 500 traded 6 points, or 0.1%, lower and the NASDAQ Composite had risen 19 points or 0.1%.

The main equity indices closed higher on Monday, boosted by strong gains from chip designer and artificial intelligence darling Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), which helped the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite post its best day since mid-November.

Caution ahead of CPI release

However, investors still remain very cautious ahead of Thursday’s release of the latest U.S. inflation release, which should offer more clarity over what the U.S. central bank intends to do with interest rates in the first quarter of the new year.

The crucial core figure is rising by 0.2% month-on-month, dragging the annual pace down to 3.8%, a level not seen since mid-2021.

Data released earlier Tuesday showed that the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in November as imports declined.

Boeing remains in spotlight

In the corporate sector, Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock initially fell 1.3% before training some of its initial losses after loose parts on some grounded models of the plane manufacturer’s 737 Max 9 jet have reportedly been discovered by both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. The stock is currently down 1%.

Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) stock surged over 10% following a report by the Wall Street Journal indicating that activist investor Elliott Investment Management has amassed a stake of approximately $1 billion in the dating app company. However, it has retreated somewhat, now up around 3%.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) soared over 22% after the WSJ reported that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) is reportedly in advanced negotiations to acquire the tech company for approximately $13 billion.

Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) stock rose 5.5% before tumbling more than 8% after the cannabis company reported a strong performance in its marijuana and beverage divisions, boosting revenues to a new high.

Oil prices rose Tuesday, rebounding after the previous session’s sharp losses, as traders digested concerns over sluggish demand as well as Middle East tensions.

By 12:10 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 2.4% higher at $72.44 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 2.2% to $77.80 a barrel.

Both crude benchmarks had fallen over 3% on Monday as sharp price cuts by top exporter Saudi Arabia had raised worries about slowing crude demand, particularly from major Asian consumers.

However, the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and the worry that this could grow into a regional crisis that could disrupt Middle Eastern oil supplies, remains an underlying support for the crude market.

The latest reading of U.S. crude inventories from industry body American Petroleum Institute is due later in the session, ahead of Wednesday’s official data.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $2,036.90/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0934.


NVDA Soars: Potential Breakout Signals Strong Uptrend

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), a leading force in artificial intelligence, appeared to undergo a significant technical surge as highlighted by analysts at Fairlead Strategies on the preceding day.

On Monday, NVDA shares soared by 6.4%, driven by several factors including reduced treasury yields, optimistic remarks from analysts, news regarding a more affordable AI chip designed for China, and the commencement of CES in Las Vegas. This surge continues a remarkable trajectory, with the stock having surged by over 250% in the past year.

Commenting on this notable movement, analysts noted, “The formidable NVDA convincingly surpassed a critical resistance level near $504, signaling a potential breakout, albeit unconfirmed. This breakout marks the resolution of a four-month trading range, pointing to a bullish trend in the intermediate term. Moreover, the weekly MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) indicator now signals a ‘buy.'”

Expanding on this development, analysts projected that this breakout could potentially propel the stock’s long-term upward trend, with an initial estimated target of around $602, signifying a prospective 15% increase from Monday’s closing price, which stood at $522.53.

Ah, the midweek investment tango! As Wednesday waltzes in, the stock market becomes the dance floor, inviting investors to showcase their moves. Some pirouette cautiously, tiptoeing around uncertainties, while others samba confidently, seizing opportunities. It’s a financial fandango where every step counts, and the rhythm of risk and reward plays the tune. So, grab your portfolio partners and let’s cha-cha through the market ups and downs—midweek’s investment ball awaits!