Sources tell FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino changing economics due to the coronavirus lockdowns and high levels of debt could prompt AT&T to sell DirecTV.
Sources tell FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino changing economics due to the coronavirus lockdowns and high levels of debt could prompt AT&T to sell DirecTV.
(Bloomberg) -- CLSA Ltd. has lost more than half of its fixed income team that focuses on bond sales in Hong Kong after its Beijing parent tightened control over the brokerage and cut down on risk, people familiar with the matter said.The departures include five of an eight-member sales team in Hong Kong, which facilitates trades for institutions, the people said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t allowed to discuss personnel changes. Director Tom Carlone, associate directors, Luke Yang and Gary Lam, as well as associates, Chris Wai and Cherry Chan, all left in the past two months, the people said.CLSA’s owner, Beijing-based Citic Securities, has reined in risk at the once freewheeling Hong Kong broker over the past year, cutting the available balance sheet for the fixed-income business and hampering its ability to trade, the people said. After buying CLSA in 2013, Citic Securities in early 2019 started to assert its control over the brokerage, also corralling pay and leading to the exit of most of its top executives.“We do not consider it appropriate to comment,” a CLSA spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on the most recent departures. “The fact that we are responding only by saying ‘no comment’ should not be taken as our form of acceptance of the accuracy of the contents of your proposed article.”The flurry of exits follow the departure of John Sun, who led the fixed income, currencies and commodities team till last year, before moving to APlus Partners, a Hong Kong-based firm focusing on private equity and credit investments. He was replaced by Shi Liang, a former vice president at Citic Securities who was transferred from Beijing.Leo Tong, Sun’s deputy who hired the five employees during his tenure at CLSA, also left in October to join SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.The shake-up at the Hong Kong-based brokerage started in early 2019 after Citic Securities chairman Zhang Youjun took over the same role at CLSA. It deepened last year as the parent overhauled the decision-making structure of the company, telling key managers to report directly to Beijing.The departures of the top echelons at the leadership committee has been followed by their counterparts at the debt business units. David Pong, head of debt capital markets for South and Southeast Asia, resigned earlier this year, as did the head of debt syndicate, Samuel Chan.(Updates with other departures in last two paragraphs.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The S&P 500 firmed on Thursday after two days of losses while sentiment was fragile ahead of remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on rising bond yields. The Nasdaq nearly wiped out all of its year-to-date gains and was down about 8% from its record closing high on Feb. 12. A 10% decline would confirm a correction territory.
Some households are collecting a big pile of federal money in 2021.
The president has agreed to a compromise making millions ineligible for the third checks.
(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will probably seek to convince suddenly skeptical financial markets on Thursday that the central bank will be ultra-patient in pulling back its support for the economy after the pandemic has ended.Rather than trying to cap rising long-term interest rates, Fed watchers expect Powell to use his appearance at a Wall Street Journal webinar to reaffirm the Fed’s determination to meet its revamped employment and inflation goals by keeping monetary policy looser for longer, and to make clear he’d like to avoid a repeat of last week’s disorderly bond market.“It’s not an issue of trying to talk down the market,” said JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli. “But you do want interest rates to be aligned with the Fed’s objectives.”That’s important for the economy’s long-run health. If the markets and the Fed are in sync, they’ll work together to attain the central bank’s objectives of maximum employment and 2% average inflation under its new strategic framework.Long-term interest rates have climbed this year -- the yield on the Treasury’s 10-year note was 1.48% at 4:50 p.m. in New York Wednesday, up from under 1% at the start of 2021 -- as more widespread dissemination of vaccines to fight the virus and the promise of stepped-up government spending has fanned expectations of much faster economic growth ahead.Brainard PatientIn what was potentially a preview of Powell’s remarks, Governor Lael Brainard stressed on Tuesday how far the Fed was from meeting its objectives.“We have quite a lot of ground to cover,” she told a Council on Foreign Relations webinar. “It’s appropriate to be patient.”Brainard said that the speed of last week’s moves in the bond market had “caught my eye,” adding that she would be concerned if she saw disorderly trading, or a persistent tightening in financial conditions, that could slow progress toward the Fed’s goals.In congressional testimony on Feb. 23 and 24, Powell played down concerns that rising yields would hurt the economy, instead declaring at one point that they were a “statement of confidence” in the outlook.The markets blew up the next day, with the 10-year Treasury note yield briefly spiking to 1.6%.Investors also moved forward their expectations for the first Fed rate hike to early 2023 as they began to question the central bank’s commitment to keeping policy easy until inflation overshoots 2%.“Early 2023 strikes me as quite early,” said Goldman Sachs Group chief economist Jan Hatzius, who doesn’t expect a hike until 2024.PGIM Fixed Income chief economist Nathan Sheets said this won’t be the last time that the Fed is confronted by escalating long-term interest rates. He sees the 10-year yield climbing as high as 2% during the summer before tailing off by end year.The Fed has a variety of ways of pushing back against a yield run-up if it sees a need to do so.Guidance LiteFirst will come more words. Call it forward guidance lite.The central bank is currently buying $120 billion of assets per month -- $80 billion of Treasury securities and $40 billion of mortgage-backed debt -- and has pledged to keep up that pace “until substantial further progress” has been made toward its goals.To help anchor yields, policy makers could become more explicit about when they’ll begin to scale back purchases. Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida took a step in that direction last week, suggesting the current pace of buying would be appropriate for the rest of 2021.Policy makers could also be more definitive about what it would take for them to raise interest rates. They’ve said they will keep rates near zero until the labor market has reached maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2% and is on track to moderately exceed that level for some time. But those thresholds are somewhat amorphous and open to interpretation.After the words, would come action. The Fed could step up its bond-buying program or shift purchases of mortgage-backed securities into Treasuries.Operation TwistAnother option: a reprise of Operation Twist, in which the Fed eliminates its holdings of Treasury bills and puts the money into longer-dated securities. That would have the added benefit of alleviating downward pressure on bill rates, which are threatening to go negative.The Fed could also emulate its Australian counterpart and adopt yield curve control, seeking to cap yields of short-dated Treasuries -- a strategy that Brainard has spoken approvingly of in the past.Wrightson ICAP LLC chief economist Lou Crandall said Powell has to be careful about pushing back on interest-rate expectations baked into the Treasury market. The Fed’s next Summary of Economic Projections, which will be published after its March 16-17 policy meeting, might show a growing number of policy makers penciling in a rate increase in 2023.Powell could instead highlight the Fed’s new modus operandi for monetary policy under the framework it adopted last year.“He may try to focus the market’s attention on how much of a regime change there’s been in the Fed’s thinking,” Crandall said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Major oil sands producers in Western Canada will idle almost half a million barrels a day of production next month, helping tighten global supplies as oil prices surge.Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s plans to conduct 30 days of maintenance at its Horizon oil sands upgrader in April will curtail roughly 250,000 barrels a day of light synthetic crude output, company President Tim McKay said in an interview Thursday. Work on the Horizon upgrader coincides with maintenance at other cites.Suncor Energy Inc. plans a major overhaul of its U2 crude upgrader, cutting output by 130,000 barrels a day over the entire second quarter. Syncrude Canada Ltd. will curb 70,000 barrels a day during the quarter because of maintenance in a unit.The supply cuts out of Northern Alberta, following a surprise OPEC+ decision to not increase output next month, could add more support to the recent rally in crude prices. OPEC+ had been debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels a day of output in April but decided to wait.The Saudi-led alliance closely monitors other major oil producers as it seeks to manage the entire global market, and surging production in North America was its biggest headache in recent years -- especially from U.S. shale but also from Canada.“The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, Brazil and other well endowed countries with hydrocarbon reserves -- we need to work with each other, collaboratively,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said after the group’s meeting on Thursday.Read More: Saudis Bet ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ Is Over in Push for Pricier OilCanada’s contribution to balancing the market with less production, much like slowing output in the U.S., is not a deliberate market-management strategy but significant nonetheless.Even though the output cuts are short-term, the battered oil-sands industry shouldn’t be a concern for the Saudis in the long run either, judging from McKay’s outlook for the industry.“I can’t see much growth in the oil sands happening because there is going to be less demand in the future,” he said. “The first step is we have to get our carbon footprint down.”After years of rising output turned Canada into the world’s fourth-largest crude producer, expansion projects have nearly halted on the heels of two market crashes since 2014.Adding to its struggles, Canada’s oil industry is being shunned by some investors such as Norway’s $1.3 trillion wealth fund amid concern that the higher carbon emissions associated with oil sands extraction will worsen climate change. These forces help make future growth in the oil sands unlikely, said McKay, whose company is among the largest producers in the country.Oil sands upgraders turn the heavy bitumen produced in oil sands mines into light synthetic crude that’s similar to benchmarks West Texas Intermediate and Brent. Syncrude Sweet Premium for April gained 60 cents on Thursday to $1.50 a barrel premium to WTI, the strongest price since May, NE2 Group data show.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
A firm hired to monitor Texas' power markets says the region's grid manager overpriced electricity over two days during last month's energy crisis, resulting in $16 billion in overcharges.
Wall Street slumped on Thursday and global stock markets declined after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell repeated his pledge to keep credit flowing until Americans are back to work, rebutting investors who have openly doubted he can stick to that promise once the pandemic passes. Benchmarket U.S. Treasury yields rose toward last week's highs as Powell spoke, and the dollar hit a three-month high. With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out and the government fiscal taps open "there is good reason to think we will make more progress soon" toward the Fed's goals of maximum employment and 2% sustained inflation, Powell told a Wall Street Journal forum.
Congress is nearing passage of the third economic stimulus check it will send out to you and other taxpayers as part of its Covid-19 relief bill.
Mortgage rates have risen past a psychological benchmark for the first time since they fell to historic lows during the pandemic. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.02% this past week, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey—the first time since July that the rate has risen above 3%. “Since reaching a low point in January, mortgage rates have risen by more than 30 basis points,” wrote Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a release.
GameStop shares closed up 6.4% at $131.93 after earlier hitting $147.87, their highest since a surge in the heavily shorted stock late last month. One analyst and some Twitter users pointed to a cryptic tweet by Ryan Cohen, a major shareholder of GameStop and founder of e-commerce firm Chewy.com, as a plausible reason for the move, although Reuters could not independently determine causation. The late afternoon rally in GameStop began roughly around the time that Cohen tweeted what appeared to be a screenshot with the puppet dog advertising mascot of Pets.com, a famous casualty of the dotcom bubble two decades ago.
(Bloomberg) -- As the leader of crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell is bound to be bullish on Bitcoin. Yet he’s projecting a disruptive future that would stretch the imagination of even the most ardent crypto fans.In a Bloomberg Television interview, Powell said Bitcoin could reach $1 million in the next decade, adding that supporters say it could eventually replace all of the major fiat currencies.“We can only speculate, but when you measure it in terms of dollars, you have to think it’s going to infinity,” he said. “The true believers will tell you that it’s going all the way to the moon, to Mars and eventually, will be the world’s currency.”The CEO also said San Francisco-based Kraken is considering going public, possibly next year.Extreme predictions are nothing new in the world of Bitcoin, where adherents stand to profit from convincing a wider audience that crypto is a legitimate asset class, rather than a speculative fad. The dollar remains the world’s reserve currency and is the benchmark for global trade, though its value has softened in the past year.Powell said Bitcoin bulls see it one day exceeding the combined market cap of the dollar, euro and other currencies.The dollar “is only 50 years old and it’s already showing extreme signs of weakness, and I think people will start measuring the price of things in terms of Bitcoin,” he said.The digital currency slipped 3% in early U.S. trading on Thursday, hovering around $49,000. Prices have surged almost 600% since the start of 2020 on the back of wider mainstream adoption, with bulls seeing it as both an inflation hedge and speculative asset.Critics argue that Bitcoin is in a giant, stimulus-fueled bubble destined to burst like the 2017 boom and bust cycle.Kraken benefits from higher prices as it reaps fees from increased trading. Bloomberg reported last month that the exchange was in talks to raise new funding, which would double the company’s valuation to more than $10 billion.“Personally, I think $10 billion is a low valuation,” Powell said. “I wouldn’t be interested in selling shares at that price.”The CEO did acknowledge the potential for wild market swings, saying prices can “move up or down 50% on any given day.” That kind of volatility has long been one of the negatives of Bitcoin, relegating the market to one of speculation, rather than a means of doing business.“If you are buying into Bitcoin out of speculation, you should be committed to holding for five years,” Powell said. “You have to have strong convictions to hold.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) may be headed for the $100,000 mark by the end of this month, according to Mike McGlone, a Bloomberg analyst. What Happened: McGlone, who previously ascribed a $50,000 plus level for the cryptocurrency, said in a March outlook report that if the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC: GBTC) closing at its steepest discount ever is an indicator, then it may “signal [Bitcoin’s] march to $100,000.” The Greyscale premium, a metric watched closely, ended February with a 2.7% discount. McGlone pointed to March 2017, when BTC backed up to nearly $1,000 on the way to its peak near $20,000 in December of that year. “Sharp reductions in the GBTC premium have often marked bottoms in Bitcoin,” wrote McGlone. “The increasing probability of [exchange-traded] funds in the U.S., on the back of launches in Canada are adding pressure to the trust price, but we see sustaining the upward trajectory as the more likely outcome.” Bitcoin traded 8.48% lower at $47,120.70 at press time. GBTC closed 10.31% lower at $41.40 on Thursday. Why It Matters: The Grayscale premium is a reference to the difference between the value of the holdings of GBTC versus the market price of its holdings. McGlone also noted the increased replacement of Gold in portfolios with BTC. “In 2020, the benchmark crypto gained legitimacy with declining volatility vs. the opposite in most assets. In 2021, we see little to stop the process of old-guard gold allocators simply focusing on prudent diversification,” wrote the analyst. On Thursday, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said that BTC could replace all of the world’s currencies and hit a million-dollar price target within the next ten years. “The younger demographic is certainly taking notice of it and they see it as a better version of gold,” said Powell. Read Next: 'Morons:' Crypto Enthusiasts Burn Banksy's Real Artwork To Turn It Into Digital Token See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaHow Square's Purchase of Jay Z's Tidal Could Popularize Blockchain'Morons:' Crypto Enthusiasts Burn Banksy's Real Artwork To Turn It Into Digital Token© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
It appears the breakdown is underway, and this could turn into an outright collapse into mid-March.
(Bloomberg) -- A new exchange-traded fund seeking to ride the companies most loved by investors online has found plenty of its own positive sentiment in its first day of trading.About $438 million worth of shares in the VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF (ticker BUZZ) changed hands on Thursday, making it the third best ETF debut on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Normally, this kind of blow-the-roof-off volume for the first day is for ETFs that open up a new asset class like gold or Bitcoin,” said Eric Balchunas, ETF analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.The fund, which has been promoted by Barstool Sports Inc. founder Dave Portnoy, follows an index that uses AI to scan online sources like blogs and social media to identify the 75 most favorably mentioned equities.Because of its criteria for inclusion, the hottest names among the day-trading crowd like GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. don’t actually make it into the gauge. Its top holdings currently are Ford Motor Co., Twitter Inc. and DraftKings Inc.Nonetheless, the rapid uptake suggests VanEck has succeeded in tapping into the increasingly powerful retail investing cohort.“Given the explosion of individual, younger retail traders, it makes sense to see a pile of volume,” said Dave Lutz, macro strategist at JonesTrading. “Whether it is the WSB crowd embracing Dave Portnoy’s marketing of the ETF, or institutions playing it to bet on the direction of the trend (or hedge) -- we won’t know for a bit. I suspect it’s a bit of both.”The fund opened at $24.40. It was down 1% at $24.15 at 12:02 p.m.(Updates with latest figures, analyst comments.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) could create a “positive momentum” if its sold its Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) holdings and initiated a buyback of its stock, according to Gary Black, a private investor and former CEO of Aegon Asset Management. What Happened: Black aired his views on social media Thursday in a series of tweets. “Imagine the positive momentum [Tesla] would create if they announced the sale of their [Bitcoin] position, and authorized a [Tesla] stock buyback instead.” wrote Black. The investor acknowledged that the prospect was “unlikely” but shareholders would support such a move. Investors who say #btc has less risk than govt bonds or gold haven’t done their research. Govt bonds have ~2% risk, defined as monthly volatility of returns. Gold ~3% risk. US equities ~6% risk. #btc has ~20% risk, further out on the risk curve than almost any other asset class. pic.twitter.com/OjMyWYU0Oa — Gary Black (@garyblack00) March 4, 2021 According to Black, if you asked 100 institutional investors in the Elon Musk-led company if they would prefer to invest $1.5 billion of excess cash in BTC or in Tesla stock, 95/100 would choose the stock. Why It Matters: Black isn’t the only analyst crying foul over Tesla’s investment in BTC. Last month, GLJ Research analyst Gordon Johnson said the automaker had “run out of viable internal uses” of its capital. “We see this as a sign of desperation from a CEO whose company is facing real competition for the first time ever,” wrote Johnson. Tesla had purchased .5 billion worth of BTC in February, amid increased institutional support for the cryptocurrency. Jack Dorsey-led Square Inc (NASDAQ: SQ) and Tesla combined have spent over billion to buy 151,919 BTC. Those coins are worth almost $7.19 billion as of press time when BTC traded 6.99% lower at $47,347.62. MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ: MSTR) meanwhile holds 90,531 BTC, purchased at an average price of $2.171 billion, as of late February now worth about almost $4.286 billion. Price Action: Tesla shares fell 3.43% in after-hours trading on Thursday to $600.10 after closing 4.86% lower at $621.44. Click here to check out Benzinga’s EV Hub for the latest electric vehicles news. Latest Ratings for TSLA DateFirmActionFromTo Feb 2021Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweight Feb 2021Piper SandlerMaintainsOverweight Jan 2021Deutsche BankMaintainsBuy View More Analyst Ratings for TSLA View the Latest Analyst Ratings See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaAnalyst Who Predicted ,000 Bitcoin Sees Key Metric Indicating 'March To 0,000'How Square's Purchase of Jay Z's Tidal Could Popularize Blockchain© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg) -- A firm hired to monitor Texas’ power markets says the region’s grid manager overpriced electricity over two days during last month’s energy crisis, resulting in $16 billion in overcharges.Amid the deep winter freeze that knocked nearly half of power generation offline, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, known as Ercot, set the price of electricity at the $9,000-a-megawatt-hour maximum -- standard practice during a grid emergency. But Ercot left that price in place days longer than necessary, resulting in massive overcharges, according to Potomac Economics, an independent market monitor hired by the state of Texas to assess Ercot’s performance. In an unusual move, the firm recommended in a letter to regulators that the pricing be corrected and that $16 billion in charges be reversed as a result.Potomac isn’t the first to say that leaving electricity prices at the $9,000 cap for so long was a mistake. Plenty of power companies at risk of defaulting on their payments have said the same. But the market monitor is giving that opinion considerable weight and could sway regulators to let companies off the hook for some of the massive electricity charges they incurred during the crisis.The Arctic blast that crippled Texas’s grid and plunged more than 4 million homes and businesses into darkness for days has pushed many companies to the brink of insolvency and stressed the power market, which is facing a more-than $2.5 billion payment shortfall. One utility, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, has already filed for bankruptcy, while retailers Griddy Energy LLC and Entrust Energy Inc. defaulted and have been banned from participating in the market.“The market is under quite a bit of duress,” Kenan Ogelman, Ercot’s vice president of commercial operations told Texas lawmakers Thursday. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Ercot one notch from A1 to Aa3 and revised the grid operator’s credit outlook to “negative.”Retroactively adjusting the power price would ease the financial squeeze on some of the companies facing astronomical power bills in the wake of the energy crisis. EDF Renewable Energy and Just Energy are among those asking the Public Utility Commission to reset the power price for the days after the immediate emergency while others have also asked regulators to waive their obligation to pay until price disputes are resolved.“If we don’t act to stabilize things, a worst-case scenario is that people will go under,” said Carrie Bivens, the Ercot independent market monitor director at Potomac Economics. “It creates a cascading effect.”The erroneous charges exceed the total cost of power traded in real-time in all of 2020, said Bivens, who spent 14 years at Ercot, where she most recently was director of market operations before becoming its watchdog. “It’s a mind-blowing amount of money.”While prices neared the $9,000 cap on the first day of the blackouts, they soon dipped to $1,200 -- a fluctuation that the utility commission later attributed to a computer glitch. The panel, which oversees the state’s power system, ordered Ercot to manually set the price at the maximum to incentivize generators to feed more electricity into the grid during the period of supply scarcity. The market monitor argues that Ercot should have reset prices once rotating blackouts ended because, at the point, the emergency was over.It’s asking the commission to direct Ercot to correct the real-time price of electricity from 12 a.m. Feb. 18 to 9 a.m. Feb. 19. Doing so could save end-customers around $1.5 billion that otherwise would be passed through to them from electricity providers, Bevins said.But power generators that reaped substantial profits from the high prices during the crisis week are likely to push back. Vistra Corp. on Thursday submitted comments to the utility commission arguing against repricing. During a Texas senate hearing the same day, utilities South Texas Electric Cooperative and the Lower Colorado River Authority also voiced opposition.Texas Competitive Power Advocates, a trade association representing generators, said retroactively changing prices could discourage future investments in Texas’s electricity market. “Changing prices after the fact creates additional instability and uncertainty,” Michele Richmond, the group’s executive director, said in an email.Bivens acknowledged the market monitor isn’t typically in favor of repricing, but noted in her letter to the commission that the move wouldn’t result in any revenue shortfalls for generators. Instead, the new price would reflect the actual supply, demand and reserves during the period.“This isn’t some Monday morning quarterbacking,” she said in an interview. “Ercot made an error and we don’t let errors slide.”The utility commission on Wednesday adopted a prior recommendation made by the market monitor, voting to to claw back some payments to power generators for services they never actually provided during energy crisis. The commissioners also expressed support for capping the price of certain grid services -- a request made by several retailers -- but didn’t take action on it. Another commission meeting is scheduled for Friday.(Adds Ogelman quote, Moody’s downgrade in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Cathie Wood's flagship ARK Invest ETF and a VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment backed by Wall Street bro Dave Portnoy are down by at least 4%. The VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF was down 4.3% in Thursday afternoon trade, in its debut. Meanwhile, Wood's ARK Innovation deepened its slide into correction on Thursday, off 6.6%. Both ETFs focus on drawing interest from many of the growthy tech stocks which are in the market's crosshairs as bond yields rise, including electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc. . On Thursday, bonds took a leg higher after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he was watching the rise in rates but offered no concrete steps the central bank was taking to tamp down rate moves. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped by 7 basis points in afternoon action, hitting around 1.54% and accelerating a sell-off in stocks that are viewed as pricey and that don't offer a coupon. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down nearly 10% from its Feb. 12 peak, meeting the commonly used definition for a correction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 400 points, or 1.3%, and nursing a 0.8% year-to-date gain. The S&P 500 index was down 1.6% and holding on to a 2021 gain of less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite was negative for the year, down 1.4%.
Prominent gold advocate and Bitcoin skeptic Peter Schiff has criticized billionaire investors Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary for turning positive on Bitcoin. What Happened: “Bubbles typically peak when rational investors capitulate,” said Schiff on Twitter, calling them the newest skeptics to “join the cult.” Congratulations to those who bought Bitcoin early, pumped up the price, and who've been dumping into the hype. You succeeded in getting Wall Street to buy into the mania. When I first learned about #Bitcoin I didn't think smart investors would be dumb enough to buy. I was wrong. — Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) March 1, 2021 Schiff’s criticism comes after Kevin O’Leary announced he would be allocating 3% of his portfolio to the digital asset while also looking at investing in the most energy-efficient Bitcoin mining companies. Earlier this week, Mark Cuban commented on some of Schiff’s most recent remarks saying, “Gold is dead Peter. Move on.” Why It Matters: Schiff has often criticized Bitcoin as an asset class, calling it inferior to gold as a store of value. His most recent comments on Twitter invited criticism from Mark Cuban, who commented that gold is hyped just as much as cryptocurrencies. “As tech continues to get better/cheaper/faster there will be new applications and maybe even something that supersedes what we know as crypto today. But gold won't ever change. Which is why it will die as a SOV (Store of Value),” said Cuban on Twitter. According to Schiff, the fact that gold won’t ever change is part of its appeal to investors. Jeffrey Gundlach, a well-known gold bull, commented earlier today that Bitcoin is up over 467% in the past 12 months while gold is down by 11% for the same period. The price of gold is down 11% over the past twelve months. The S&P 500 is up 27% over the past twelve months. Bitcoin is up 467% over the past twelve months. Great dispersions often precede great reversions. We shall see. — Jeffrey Gundlach (@TruthGundlach) March 4, 2021 According to him, dispersions of this size between asset classes often come before reversions to the mean. Price Action: After a volatile week, the market-leading cryptocurrency was trading at $48,171 at the time of writing. Earlier this week, Bitcoin recorded a low of $43,867 and a high of $52,535. Image: Dmitry Demidko via Unsplash See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaFantom Is Top Performing Cryptocurrency Again: Here's What You Need To KnowGoldman Sachs To Restart Crypto Desk After Abandoning The Idea In 2018© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Workhorse Group Inc. said Thursday that it met with U.S. Postal Service representatives on March 3, to discuss why the electric vehicle maker missed out on a Next Generation Delivery Vehicle contract, which was awarded to Oshkosh Corp. Workhorse said it can't disclose details of the discussion at this time, but said it plans to share information when permitted. The stock slumped 3.4% in premarket trading. Missing out on the USPS contract had sent Workhorse's stock plunging 47.5% on Feb. 23 to $16.46, and the stock has lost another 9.4% since to close Wednesday at $14.92, the lowest close since June 29, 2020. "Yesterday's meeting with the USPS marked the first step in what we expect may be a prolonged process to explore our options and possibly pursue further action related to our NGDV bid," said Chief Executive Duane Hughes. "We will continue to follow the proper due course procedures as defined by the USPS and will also look to other options available to us." He said legal and corporate advisory firms were retained to identify and pursue its options. Workhorse's stock has lost 32.4% over the past three months through Wednesday, while Oshkosh shares have rallied 28.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.3%.