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Dow Shoots Higher, But Trump’s ‘Nuclear Option’ Could ‘Derail’ Trade Deal

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By CCN: The Dow crept to moderate gains on Thursday, ignoring analyst warnings that President Trump’s latest assault on China threatens to “derail” the trade deal and leave the two economic goliaths locked in an endless trade war.

Dow Grinds Toward Substantial Recovery

All three major US stock market indices recorded substantial gains during the Thursday morning trading session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 133.14 points or 0.52% to hit 25,781.16, the S&P 500 added 0.54% to rebound to 2,866.32, and the Nasdaq rose 0.48% to 7,859.53.

dow jones industrial average chart

The Dow brushed off Trump’s latest trade war escalation to jump on Thursday. | Source: Yahoo Finance

On Wednesday, the Dow had gained 115.97 points or 0.45% to recover to 24,648.02. The S&P 500 closed at 2,850.96 for a gain of 16.55 points or 0.58%, and the Nasdaq jumped 87.65 points or 1.13% to 7,822.15.

Labor Market Remains Tight as Jobless Claim Drop Surprises Economists

The stock market sought to extend those gains amid a strengthening labor market.

According to Labor Department statistics published on Thursday, initial jobless claims fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 212,000 for the week ended May 11, down from a four-week moving average of 225,000 a week prior. The figure was moderately better than the 220,000 claims economists had expected.

Analysts believe this strong labor will data bolster the economy, even as trade war-induced volatility tests the mettle of both domestic and foreign stock markets.

Trump Exercises ‘Nuclear Option’ to Twist China’s Arm

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US-China tensions grew even more fraught on May 15 when President Trump declared a national emergency that targets technology companies – specifically Chinese tech giants like Huawei – that the White House alleges present a threat to US national security. The move effectively blacklists Huawei from operating in the US or partnering with US companies.

The Trump administration’s unexpected assault on Huawei sent a chill throughout European stock markets, causing major indices like the DAX and STOXX 600 to sink before rebounding into positive territory later in the session.

Trump’s national emergency order has been described as the “nuclear option,” but it barely registered on Wall Street, where equities trended higher throughout the pre-market session and jumped at the opening bell.

However, international analysts like Scott Kennedy warn that investors should pay very close attention to this saga as it unfolds because – even more than tariff increases and Trump’s Twitter barbs – it threatens to completely “derail” the already dicey US-China trade talks.

“You can’t underestimate the significance. It’s their most important company and threatening it in this way will generate a massive public response as well as from the Chinese government. The bilateral trade talks were on thin ice and this could derail them entirely,” Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Bloomberg.

The May 13 sell-off notwithstanding, Wall Street appears to have more than priced in a successful resolution to the trade war. Such boundless optimism increasingly appears premature.

Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping plan to meet at next month’s G-20 summit in Osaka, purportedly to wrap a bow on a bilateral trade agreement. With each passing day, however, Trump’s long-promised trade deal seems to slip further from his grasp.

Click here for a real-time Dow Jones Industrial Average price chart.

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Robinhood Opens Trading for 7 Cryptocurrencies in New York

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Robinhood, the popular stock and crypto investing app, has officially launched bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrency trading in New York.

Silicon Valley-based Robinhood received a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in January 2019 and on Thursday opened access to crypto trading in the Empire State.

From the press release:

Currently, you can invest in seven cryptocurrencies on Robinhood Crypto: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. You can also track price movements and news for those and 10 additional cryptocurrencies.

New York is unique and problematic for crypto traders because all purveyors must apply for a BitLicense, most notably for companies that are “storing, holding, or maintaining custody or control of virtual currency on behalf of others,” according to NYDFS.

Many crypto startups have avoided the requirements entirely by becoming BitLicense refugees and refusing to do business in the state.

“Here we are two miles from the Statue of Liberty and you cannot sell CryptoKitties in the state without that license. That’s the absurdity of what’s happened here,” ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees complained in 2018 when asked about the controversial license at CoinDesk’s Consensus conference in New York.

Image courtesy of Robinhood

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Generation Bitcoin: 90% of Millennials Prefer Crypto to Gold: ETF Expert

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By CCN: The US investing industry stands on the precipice of a dramatic upheaval that could see bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets replace gold in investor portfolios.

That’s according to Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, an independent investment advisor. He revealed in a Bloomberg TV interview that his millennial clients are clamoring to hold bitcoin in their portfolios – if only the SEC would let them.

Crypto in a Landslide: ETF Expert Says Millennials Plan to Kick Gold to the Curb

Responding to a question from Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas about whether he would ever invest client funds in a bitcoin ETF, Geraci stunned his fellow panel members when he said that millennial investors overwhelmingly desire to hold bitcoin instead of traditional hedge assets like gold.

How overwhelming? Ninety percent.

“When we talk to our younger clients – we have a core gold allocation in our portfolios, and they’ll ask about that and say, ‘What about crypto?’ And if you talk to, primarily millennials, and ask them which they prefer, bitcoin or gold, it’s a landslide. It’s not even close, it’s like 90% prefer bitcoin.”

Geraci’s bold claim was more anecdotal than scientific, but there’s plenty of hard data that demonstrates that younger investors are vastly more comfortable with holding cryptocurrency in their portfolios than investors who grew up in the pre-digital era.

In April, a Harris Poll survey found that 18 to 34-year-olds are “very” or “somewhat” likely to purchase bitcoin within the next five years. That might not seem overwhelming, but consider that only 37% of Americans in that demographic currently own stocks.

Similarly, a February eToro survey found that 43% of millennials trust crypto exchanges more than stock exchanges, even though crypto trading platform hacks dominate the mainstream news cycle.

ETF Would Reduce Crypto Investing Risks

bitcoin etf vaneck bitcoin price

ETF Store President Nate Geraci said that there is rabid demand for a bitcoin ETF, especially among millennials. | Source: Shutterstock

Nate Geraci further pointed to the success of the $1.5 billion Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC) as proof that there is sufficient market demand for a crypto ETF.

He noted that the over-the-counter product regularly trades at a staggering premium to the underlying value of its BTC assets. That’s because GBTC shares fluctuate based on supply and demand, not just the price of bitcoin. An ETF, he said, would flatten that premium and thus reduce investor risk.

“It seems a bit incongruent to me that we have that product out there trading, where investors really could get hurt if they don’t understand that premium, but we don’t have a bitcoin ETF.”

“The demand is there,” he concluded.

SEC Kicks the Bitcoin ETF Can Down the Road

Unfortunately for crypto bulls, millennials aren’t the ones manipulating the levers of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which holds unilateral authority to approve or deny bitcoin ETF applications.

The SEC, as CCN reported, continues to punt on the issue. Last week, the regulatory agency extended its long trend of delaying ruling on cryptocurrency products when it postponed its decision on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF to August 19. Most industry insiders expect the SEC to delay the VanEck/SolidX product again, pushing its final ruling until October 18.

Dave Nadig, the managing director of ETF.com, said that he believes the SEC is still in “information gathering mode” but that there is a “reasonable chance” regulators approve the first bitcoin ETF before the end of 2019.

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Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Lost Critical 5000 SAT Support Area – What’s Next?

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Ripple’s XRP has seen a price decline totaling 6% over the past 24 hours of trading, bringing the current price for the coin down to around $0.3754 at press time. The cryptocurrency has lost a further 16% over the past 7 trading days.

This price drop largely is due to the retracement seen in Bitcoin, although XRP also has seen difficulty when priced against Bitcoin.

XRP currently is ranked in 3d place amongst the top cryptocurrency projects by market cap value, holding a $15.89 billion market cap, according to CoinMarketCap at time of publication. 

Looking at the XRP/USD 1-Day Chart:

  • Since our previous XRP/USD analysis, we can see that XRP/USD has fallen further from the $0.39 level, to where it currently is trading at around $0.375. XRP has strong resistance beneath it provided by the 200-day moving average around the $0.3615 level.
  • From above: The nearest levels of resistance lie at $0.3790 and $0.3943. If the bulls can continue further above $0.40, higher resistance can be located at $0.4235, $0.4376 and $0.4617. Above this, further resistance lies at $0.48 and $0.50.
  • From below: The nearest level of support now sits between $0.36 and $0.35. Beneath $0.35, further support is located at $0.34, $0.32 and $0.30.
  • Trading volume has dropped significantly from the average level seen during May 2019.
  • The RSI is in a precarious position as it hovers around the 50 level which indicates indecision within the market. If the RSI drops beneath 50, we can expect XRP/USD to head lower.

xrpusd_may23-min

Looking at the XRP/BTC 1-Day Chart:

  • Against Bitcoin, we can see XRP/BTC has now dropped further beneath the support at 5000 SAT to where it currently trades at press time, around 4850 SAT.
  • From above: The nearest level of resistance now sits at 4910 SAT, 5000 SAT and 5090 SAT. Above 5100 SAT, further resistance exists at 5571 SAT, 5962 SAT and 6000 SAT.
  • From below: The nearest level of support lies at 4731 SAT. Beneath this, further support is expected at 4500 SAT, 4323 SAT and 4000 SAT.
  • Trading volume has also significantly declined toward the second half of May 2019.
  • The Stochastic RSI suggests that price action will head further lower due to a bearish crossover in overbought conditions.

xrpbtc_may23-min

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Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Lost Critical 5000 SAT Support Area – What’s Next?

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Ripple’s XRP has seen a price decline totaling 6% over the past 24 hours of trading, bringing the current price for the coin down to around $0.3754 at press time. The cryptocurrency has lost a further 16% over the past 7 trading days.

This price drop largely is due to the retracement seen in Bitcoin, although XRP also has seen difficulty when priced against Bitcoin.

XRP currently is ranked in 3d place amongst the top cryptocurrency projects by market cap value, holding a $15.89 billion market cap, according to CoinMarketCap at time of publication. 

Looking at the XRP/USD 1-Day Chart:

  • Since our previous XRP/USD analysis, we can see that XRP/USD has fallen further from the $0.39 level, to where it currently is trading at around $0.375. XRP has strong resistance beneath it provided by the 200-day moving average around the $0.3615 level.
  • From above: The nearest levels of resistance lie at $0.3790 and $0.3943. If the bulls can continue further above $0.40, higher resistance can be located at $0.4235, $0.4376 and $0.4617. Above this, further resistance lies at $0.48 and $0.50.
  • From below: The nearest level of support now sits between $0.36 and $0.35. Beneath $0.35, further support is located at $0.34, $0.32 and $0.30.
  • Trading volume has dropped significantly from the average level seen during May 2019.
  • The RSI is in a precarious position as it hovers around the 50 level which indicates indecision within the market. If the RSI drops beneath 50, we can expect XRP/USD to head lower.

xrpusd_may23-min

Looking at the XRP/BTC 1-Day Chart:

  • Against Bitcoin, we can see XRP/BTC has now dropped further beneath the support at 5000 SAT to where it currently trades at press time, around 4850 SAT.
  • From above: The nearest level of resistance now sits at 4910 SAT, 5000 SAT and 5090 SAT. Above 5100 SAT, further resistance exists at 5571 SAT, 5962 SAT and 6000 SAT.
  • From below: The nearest level of support lies at 4731 SAT. Beneath this, further support is expected at 4500 SAT, 4323 SAT and 4000 SAT.
  • Trading volume has also significantly declined toward the second half of May 2019.
  • The Stochastic RSI suggests that price action will head further lower due to a bearish crossover in overbought conditions.

xrpbtc_may23-min

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Blockchain Firm Raises $4 Million From Draper’s VC Fund to Provide Uncensorable Domains

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San Francisco-based blockchain domains firm Unstoppable Domains has secured $4 million in a funding round backed by venture capitalist Tim Draper, co-founder Brad Kam told Cointelegraph in an email on May 23.

Following a $730,000 seed round led by investment firm Boost VC, Unstoppable Domains has carried out a Series A round led by venture capital fund Draper Associates. The previous investment was completed in December 2018, a press release notes.

The new investment funds will be used in the company’s mission to provide blockchain-powered uncensorable websites, as well as simple payments in major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and others.

By bringing blockchain to the domains industry, Unstoppable Domains intends to “spread free speech around the world,” decentralizing domain names and websites that cannot be controlled by a third party, Draper said in the announcement.

Similar to a cryptocurrency stored in a digital wallet, Unstoppable Domains’ websites are stored in a user’s wallet, while the content is stored on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) or other decentralized storage networks.

Unstoppable Domains also plans to incorporate blockchain domains with users’ crypto addresses. The company reportedly allows users to replace a wallet’s address with their short domain name that claims to enable simple transactions in crypto.

Recently, electronics supplier Bosch expressed the company’s willingness to take an active position in protecting the openness of the Internet of Things against censorship.

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