Wall Street ends lower – Bitcoin holds steady - Friday's U.S. job data awaits
U.S. stocks ended lower Wednesday but remain near their best levels in 20 months following the latest signals that inflation pressure may be easing, while signs of a cooling in the jobs market reinforced expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could start cutting interest rates early next year.
At the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) trading floor, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slid -70.12 points, or -0.19%, to 36,054.43.
The broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped -17.84 points, or -0.39%, to 4,549.34, while the rich-tech Nasdaq Composite Index fell -83.20 points, or -0.58%, to 14,146.71.
Losses from mega-caps and energy weighed on Wall Street, with Nvidia dropping 2.3% and Microsoft losing 1%.
Airlines were flying high, with Delta Air Lines climbing +4.6% after it told investors it's sticking to its forecasts for revenue and profit for the end of 2023. United Airlines also rose +4.8%, and Southwest Airlines gained 4.4%.
Wednesday brought fresh signs of softening in the Labor market, as more reports suggest the U.S. Federal Reserve could at least hold steady on rates for now.
Its next meeting on interest rates is next week, and the widespread expectation is for it to leave its main interest rates unchanged.
The ADP National Employment report showed private payrolls increased by 103,000 jobs in November.
Meanwhile, this Friday brings a more comprehensive Non-Farm Payrolls Report for November, which will offer greater clarity on the state of the labour market with the forecasts of around 185,000 jobs added, following the previous month's 150,000. The unemployment rate is seen at 3.9%.
The Yields on Treasurys, which rise when their prices fall, eased lower with the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps set rates for mortgages and other economy-dictating loans, settled at 4.10%, while the policy-sensitive two-year yield, which tends to reflect the Fed's market expectations of future moves, finished at 4.60%.
In cryptocurrency, Bitcoin’s rally pressed on and remained near levels since early 2022, as renewed hopes that exchange-traded funds (ETF) based on actual Bitcoin are coming soon.
With the bullish call-in play, the world's largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is expected to keep the gloves on and continue to swing at the area near US$49,000.00.
However, this call will be a bumpy roller-coaster and undoubtedly expects profit-taken will emerge in fears of the market price(s) reverses.
With that being said, monitor the market moves and swings and reassess near the US$49,000,00 as a potential ‘blow-off’ top could be witnessed.
Here is a little technical ‘analysis’ jargon to describe a rapid and forceful price movement in the market - Definition of a “Blow-Off Top”.
A “blow-off” top is a chart pattern that is “notoriously hard” to trade given the volatility, volume, and rate of price change, which ultimately leads to a collapse in the opposite direction.
This pattern is often seen as a red flag in trading, indicating the end of a long uptrend.
Bitcoin intraday range changed hands within the parameters of US$43,466.00 to US$44,283.00, last at US$43,719.00.
Meanwhile, Ethereum, the world’s second-largest blockchain by cryptocurrency market capitalization, has reached the US$2,300 target after changing hands within a daily range of US$2,220.00 to US$2,312,00 and last at US$2,231.00.
Assessing the technical studies for Ethereum, a sustained break above the US$2,300.00 resistance may generate a greater bullish call to US$2,700.00 – reassess from there as profit-taking is expected – which could follow a significant downturn.
Precious metals were mixed, with spot gold at $2,024 per ounce, while silver closed at $23.90.
Crude prices have plummeted to the lows of June as expectations that too much oil is available for the global economy's demand, with the global benchmark Brent at $74.22 per barrel and the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate at $69.48.
The U.S. Dollar Index (U.S. DXY), which measures the greenback's strength against six counterparts on the foreign exchange markets, edges up to 104.10.
Meanwhile, the Eurodollar was at 1.0766, and the British pound finished at 1.2556. The Japanese yen ended at 147.14, while the Australian dollar was firmer at 0.6548.
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