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Bitcoin and Ethereum pop, stocks are steady ahead of Friday’s big jobs report

September 2, 2021

Good morning.

As many Wall Street pros had predicted, investors are hanging on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow’s big jobs report. Global stocks—and U.S. futures—are up this morning, but not by much.

For the real action, we have to go to crypto. Bitcoin jumped overnight, and topped, in the past hour, $50,000. But the big move came from Ethereum. The ether token popped on Wednesday to a more than three-month high.

Speaking of action, crazy torrential rains from Hurricane Ida has left much of the New York-New Jersey area bailing out this morning. Stay safe (and dry), Bull Sheeters.

Let’s see what else is moving the markets.

Markets update
• The major Asia indexes are mixed with the Shanghai Composite up 0.8% in afternoon trading.
• The Hang Seng is underperforming the pack after regulators in Beijing imposed a December deadline to Didi and other ride-hailing firms to clean up their data privacy rules and stop the practice of recruiting unlicensed—yikes—drivers.
• Don’t look now… The WHO has officially added to its watchlist a new COVID variant—Mu—first identified in South America. There are reports of it reaching Japan and the U.S.

• The European bourses were soft at the open with London’s FTSE down 0.2%, before rebounding.
• It’s a regular re-shuffle, still it’s raising eyeballs. One-time tech star JustEat Takeaway will get the boot from the FTSE 100 later this month, making tech an even punier piece of London’s benchmark index. In related news: The FTSE 100 index continues to far underperform its peers in the U.S. and Europe.
• The euro jumped to a four-week high yesterday as calls come in from the more hawkish parts of the eurozone to rein in pandemic relief spending.

• The U.S. futures are flat, but we just saw a new batch of record highs on the Nasdaq and S&P 500.
• Moderna climbed 3.5% yesterday (it’s up again pre-market) after the biotech firm disclosed it’s filed with the FDA to get regulatory approval for a third-dose booster of its COVID-19 vaccine.
• Shares in Alphabet’s Google were down 0.3% in pre-market trading as reports emerge of a new Justice Department antitrust probe into the search giant’s stranglehold on the advertising market.

• Gold has barely budged in the past 24 hours, still trading a hair below $1,820/ounce.
• The dollar is down.
• Oil is higher with Brent trading above $71/barrel.
• Somebody gave Bitcoin a Red Bull last night. After a week of flatlining, it’s jumped 5% in the past 24 hours, to trade above $50,000.


May you live in interesting times, Part I
As many on Twitter rightly point out, this particular Picasso has been re-sold at auction for a sum many times higher than the $4.13 million, but still…


May you live in interesting times, Part II

May you live in interesting times, Part III


Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… Until then, there’s more news below.

Bernhard Warner

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Today’s reads

This ‘financial astrologer’ sees the future of Bitcoin—and says it could go to zeroFortune

These college majors have the highest starting salariesFortune

Investors eye emerging market upswing after China shockFinancial Times

Energy Traders See Big Money in Carbon-Emissions MarketsWall Street Journal

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Market candy 

Quiz time

Most of you were holidaying on your yachts, moored off the coast of Portofino last month, so if you don’t have the answer to this one, I’ll let it slide. Ready? Here we go: Which S&P 500 sector was the top performer in August?

• A. Tech
• B. Energy
• C. Financials
• D. Communication Services

If you chose A, tech (Information Technology, to be precise), you’d be wrong. The answer is D, boring old communication services—think wireless and broadband providers, and media companies. If yours truly were to do a spin-off, SPAC-y thing with Bull Sheet and somehow grow it into a monster business with a big fat market cap, so big that the good people at S&P were to call me and say they want Bull Sheet to join the benchmark index, I guess then Bull Sheet would fall under Communication Services… at which point, we could petition for a name change to “Communication Services and Bull Sheet.”