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The S&P 500 and Tech are at All-Time Highs but Bitcoin has a Hangover

By:Vonetta Logan

Vonetta Logan's weekly recap of the big business, news, markets, political, cultural and viral trending stories featured this week on Daily Dose

What’s up tastynation! Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekly Dose! Each week, I recap the top stories that I covered on Daily Dose. If you missed any eps of Daily Dose you can catch up on them here

To jazz up the dreary existence that is January in the Midwest, I love participating in internet trends. The latest trend gripping my entire soul is the "mob wife aesthetic." We should all embrace our inner Carmela with bold red lips, animal prints and enough jewelry to choke an informant. To all the mob wives!

Alice Kenny Diamond
Alice Kenny Diamond (1902 - 1933), wife of the Irish American gangster, Jack 'Legs' Diamond, circa 1930. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Let’s get to this week’s recap. 

High times for indices and tech giants

The S&P 500, fresh off record highs last week, was determined to break even more records this week.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.9% in the third quarter of 2023. That number, released on Thursday, also sent the market higher.

There are now seven companies that have crossed that magical threshold into trillion-dollar market valuations. Seven stocks make up two-thirds of the value of the S&P 500 now … cool, cool. What could go wrong?

Nvidia (NVDA) hit an all-time high this week. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) hit an all-time high this week. And Alphabet (GOOGL), Meta (META), and Microsoft (MSFT) all closed at all-time highs this week as they look to report earnings the week of Jan.29. Fun fact, those three companies have a combined market cap worth more than the GDP of France. Très tragique pour la France. Microsoft is now casually worth $3 trillion. Earning the week’s womp womp award.

Tesla (TSLA) shares plunged 12% Thursday, wiping $80 billion off the company’s market value hours after it warned of slowing growth in electric car sales and an existential threat from Chinese rivals. Buckle up folks, next week’s earnings should be very interesting. 

Broken China 

China’s stock market had a rough go of things in 2023, and 2024 looks to be more of the same for the world’s second-largest economy. It’s the worst start to a year for Chinese stocks since 2016, when investors were ditching their holdings following a market crash in 2015.

In a bid to turn things around, China unveiled a plan to infuse more than $140 billion into its economy. China's central bank announced its largest "economic first aid package" in two years. Measures include a 50-basis-point cut in required cash reserves for banks, translating into around a $140 billion liquidity injection into the banking system, starting Feb. 5.

Alibaba’s (BABA) co-founders, Jack Ma (who sometimes gets “disappeared” by his own government) and Joe Tsai, have picked up more than $200 million worth of the company’s shares.

Also, a new fun fact I learned this week is that Temu’s (PDD) biggest shoppers aren’t TikTok obsessed members of Gen Z … nope it’s boomers! This is wild to me. My mom is just now learning that it’s pronounced Uber (UBER) not Yoober. I can’t fathom my parents even knowing what Temu is, let alone how to navigate to the site to find Temu's hot item for boomers—$5 grabber things so they don’t have to bend over.

Meanwhile, Chinese tech giant Tencent (TME) announced layoffs in its Riot Games division. No trouble in little China for Apple (AAPL) this week as its latest sales data showed that for the first time, Apple became the largest smartphone vendor in China by shipments.

Bitcoin’s hangover 

It looks like bitcoin (BTC) is in search of some Pedialyte and a greasy bacon, egg and cheese sammich, because it needs something to fight its wicked hangover.

After the glorious celebration of the legalization of bitcoin ETFs, bitcoin itself has really struggled. It started the week trying to keep its head above that $40,000 level. Bitcoin is still in its correction phase following the launch of several spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds. It did turn things around slightly, ending the week around $41,000.

FTX has sold 22 million shares worth close to $1 billion in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) since it converted into an ETF earlier this month, taking FTX's GBTC ownership down to zero.

GBTC saw outflows of more than $2 billion since its conversion into an ETF. A new analysis by FINRA finds that 70% of communications to crypto customers contained “false, exaggerated, promissory, unwarranted or misleading” claims or otherwise violated guidelines on public communications.

Umm, FINRA should try going on a dating app if it wants exaggerated and misleading claims. Amirite, ladies?

Bad news: crypto hackers stole $1.7 billion worth of crypto last year. Good news: That’s down 54% from 2022! 

Rising from the grave like the Undertaker, Core Scientific (CORZQ) completed the reorganization process and re-listed its shares on the Nasdaq. The bitcoin mining company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was delisted. Hooray on the triumphant return! The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released new details on how its X/Twitter account got hacked.

While the SEC can’t figure out how to enable two-factor authentication, it can figure out how to waylay an ether ETF. The SEC delayed an application by Grayscale Investments to convert its Ethereum trust product (ETHE) into an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Keep up the good work, fellas. 

Random Chicanery 

These are my favorite funny stories of the week:

 That’s it for this week! See ya next week! 

 Vonetta Logan has more than a decade of markets experience and has been a trader for five years. She is an on-air personality, creative writer and news correspondent at tastylive. Vonetta appears Monday-Friday on Daily Dose and contributes to Luckbox Magazine. @vonettalogan

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