Optimism that the United States and China are making significant progress toward bringing an end to the trade war that has roiled the economy in recent months has the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major stock indices pointing north ahead of the year’s last trading session.
Dow Preps Gains amid ‘New Reality’ of Volatility
As of the time of writing, Dow futures signaled a more than 200 point rally from Friday’s close, implying a rise of around 0.89 percent. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were eyeing notable climbs of their own, with the former preparing to jump 0.70 percent and the latter 0.91 percent at the opening bell.
The bullish moves follow weekend reports that the US and China have narrowed the gap between their respective stances on the ongoing trade war and are close to reaching a compromise.
“Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute,” US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday, as CCN reported. Trump further said that the two sides had made “big progress” following a “very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China. Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
However, it’s unclear whether a trade deal would provide the market with enough footing to climb out of a downturn that has threatened to turn into something much more severe. In any case, it’s unlikely that the market’s recent volatility will go away anytime soon, according to Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz SE.
El-Erian, who unlike Goldman Sachs maintains strong growth projections for the US economy, said that daily swings of 1,000 points or more are likely the “new reality” for the Dow as it cools off from a prolonged bull run.
Bitcoin, Crypto Market Slouch Toward 2019
Of course, such volatility has long been the norm in the crypto markets where investors must be relieved to finally put an end to what has without a doubt been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.
Characteristically, then, the cryptocurrency markets on Monday appeared poised to slouch into 2019, devoid of the triumphalism that accompanied that last year’s turn of the calendar.
Major cryptocurrency assets including bitcoin, ripple (XRP), ethereum, and EOS were down across the board, with just two tokens registering daily gains against the US dollar as of the time of writing. The bitcoin price was trading at $3,744, representing a daily composite loss of about 2.43 percent, while ripple was down 3.52 percent. Ethereum performed somewhat better with a loss of just 1.75 percent, enabling it to creep within $270 million of slipping past XRP to regain the second position in the market cap rankings.
So what awaits bitcoin and the wider crypto landscape in 2019? That remains to be seen. Perhaps, as bulls have long predicted, institutional investors will finally begin to make a splash in the decade-old crypto markets, carrying them to new highs. Conversely, the bitcoin price may begin to grind lower, forcing hodlers to test their mettle further as an increasing number of investors see the value of their funds dip into the red.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.
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