Why Wall Street is ignoring chaos in Washington

By CNN Business

Updated 6:13 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021
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8:11 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Bitcoin rockets past $35,000

From CNN Business' Rob Mclean

Bitcoin's alarming hot streak shows no signs of stopping as the cryptocurrency's price grew to as much as $35,580 on Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, bitcoin was trading at $34,615. It was less than $20,000 a month ago.

Bitcoin grew steadily even as the stock market plunged in the early days of the pandemic. Investors have been drawn to it, as well as other cryptocurrencies, as the US dollar has weakened.

With the Federal Reserve expected to leave interest rates near zero for several more years, bitcoin may continue to win new fans.

On Monday, Anthony Scaramucci's firm, SkyBridge Capital, officially launched the SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund. It's a fund geared toward wealthy investors looking for exposure to the high-flying crypto. The fund currently holds about $310 million worth of bitcoin.

6:38 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Don't forget about Covid

From CNN Business' Charles Riley

Democrats hold leads in both Georgia Senate races, putting them on the brink of holding power of Congress and the White House. But that doesn't mean Democrats will be able to pass sweeping legislation over the next several years.

Investors must also consider the surging pandemic. Dealing with the economic fallout from coronavirus and accelerating the US vaccine rollout is likely to occupy the Biden administration for months, and other legislative priorities may be set aside for the time being.

"It's worth bearing in mind that Janet Yellen will be running the Treasury," said Stephen Innes, the chief global market strategist at Axi."She is not desperate to raise taxes and President-elect Biden's focus this year will be Covid."

6:46 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Tech tumbles as Democrats hold leads in Georgia Senate races

From CNN Business' Charles Riley

The Nasdaq (COMP) shed roughly 2.1% in premarket trading, and tech shares are likely to remain in focus on Wednesday.

If Democrats do capture both Senate seats, the chance of Congress producing aggressive legislation to regulate tech companies may have increased because the party also controls the House of Representatives and the White House.

"For markets, 'blue' is the operative word," wrote analysts at Rabobank. "They had — like the GOP — presumed the two Georgia seats were in the bag, and only now enter a world where presumptions of US political gridlock go out the window and the government might actually be in the position to do something."

6:33 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

10-year Treasury yield rises above 1%

From CNN Business' Charles Riley

The yield on benchmark 10-year US government bonds topped 1% for the first time since March as investors prepared for a scenario where Democrats wield more power in Washington.

That could mean more stimulus and, therefore, more borrowing by the government. Increased spending could also boost the economy, leading to higher interest rates.

6:51 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

US stocks futures head south with Democrats on the edge of taking the Senate

From CNN Business' Charles Riley

US stock futures dropped and bond yields spiked on Wednesday as Democrats moved closer to taking control of the US Senate.

Georgia voters have elected Rev. Raphael Warnock to the Senate, CNN projected. If Democrats also win a second runoff in the state held Tuesday, they will gain control of the upper house of Congress. The Democratic candidate in that race, Jon Ossoff, held a narrow lead over his Republican opponent.

US stock futures moved lower, led by the Nasdaq (COMP), which shed roughly 2.1% in premarket trading. Dow (INDU) futures gained about 0.2%, while S&P 500 (INX) futures lost 0.4%.

"Markets seem to be fussing that a Democratic sweep in the Georgia Senate election runoffs will lead to higher taxes, tech regulation, a sharper environmental focus, and bigger moves towards wealth redistribution," said Stephen Innes, the chief global market strategist at Axi.

The reaction on global markets was mixed. Stocks advanced in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt and London, but lost ground in Tokyo and Paris.

6:21 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Trump signs new order that would ban transactions with some Chinese apps

From CNN Business' Jill Disis and Jason Hoffman

President Donald Trump is continuing to pile the pressure on Chinese tech companies in the closing days of his administration.

Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps, including Ant Group's Alipay. The order will also hit Tencent's (TCTZFQQ Wallet and WeChat Pay, as well as the apps CamScanner, SHAREit, VMate and WPS Office.

The "continuing activity" of China and the ruling Chinese Communist Party "to steal or otherwise obtain United States persons' data makes clear that there is an intent to use bulk data collection to advance China's economic and national security agenda," the order reads in part.

Read more here.

6:23 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Apple proxy statement includes section about antitrust risk for the first time

From CNN Business' Clare Duffy

Antitrust scrutiny of Apple and other big tech giants ratcheted up over the past year. And for the first time, Apple has noted in its annual proxy statement that antitrust issues are an area of focus for its board of director's audit committee.

The company notes "antitrust" as one among several specific areas of oversight for the committee in its 2021 proxy statement, which was released Tuesday ahead of Apple's (AAPL) annual shareholder meeting on February 23. It says the committee and the board "regularly review and discuss" antitrust risks with Apple's management.

Read more here.