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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Morning stock market summary

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91 years ago today, with the country in the grips of the Great Depression, Franklin D Roosevelt was inaugurated as President and attempted to strike a tone of optimism for a country badly in need of a boost.  The current picture is far different.  Although Americans may not exactly be optimistic, the economy is doing relatively well, and just last Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed at record highs.  Even the Russell 2000 hit a 52-week high!  Maybe now, the only thing to fear is the lack of fear itself.

The picture this morning is a bit more subdued as futures are modestly lower ahead of a quiet day of economic data, but things will pick up later in the week with ISM Services and the February Employment report.  It will also be a very busy week for Fedspeak as we head into the pre-meeting blackout on Friday.  Chair Powell will even be testifying to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

Stocks may be quiet to start the week, but Bitcoin prices are going crazy again this morning with a move above $65,000.  Since the ETPs started trading in early January, Bitcoin has rallied more than 40%, and from the post-ETP launch low on 1/26, prices are up 69%.

Just as a year ago no one was thinking the S&P 500 would be trading at all-time highs within a year, two months ago not many people were thinking that Bitcoin would be trading to new highs any time soon.  With prices back above $65,000, though, bitcoin is now within 4% of its all-time high of just under $68,000.

While digital gold has gone parabolic of late, physical gold hasn’t been as strong, although prices are also within 4% of an all-time high.  This morning, gold is trading just shy of $2,100 per ounce which is a level it has had a lot of trouble taking out over the last two years.  Back in March 2022 and May 2023, gold prices rallied towards $2,100 and quickly pulled back.  Late last year, though, gold made another run at $2,100, and while it failed to break through again, it didn’t experience a pullback anything like the prior two.  Third time the charm?

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