Well, that was fast. Bitcoin has gone from a “death cross” to nearly a bull market in just a few short days.

Bitcoin formed that death cross—what market technicians call the moment when the 50-day moving average drops below the 200-day moving average—over the weekend. It was a sign that more selling could be on the way.

And selling happened for a couple of days. Bitcoin went from more than $36,000 to less than $29,000 between Sunday and Tuesday, and had lost more than half its value from its all-time high.

Then the selling stopped. Bitcoin is back near $34,000 Wednesday, an 18.5% bounce. Another 1.5 percentage points and Bitcoin will have gained 20%, which would qualify as a bull market.

Although with all the volatility, maybe typical bull and bear market designations don’t apply to the cryptocurrency.

Al Root

*** Join Barron’s senior managing editor Lauren R. Rublin, healthcare reporter Josh Nathan-Kazis, and RBC analyst Luca Issi Thursday at noon to discuss gene therapy and other innovations in biotechnology. Sign up here.

***

Fauci Calls Delta Variant the “Greatest Threat” to Defeating Coronavirus

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci called the Delta Covid variant the “greatest threat” to U.S. efforts to defeat the virus, with infections doubling about every two weeks.

  • Delta, first identified in India, is now about 20.6% of new U.S. cases and is expected to become the dominant strain, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Delta is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant first identified in the U.K.

  • The World Health Organization says Delta has been confirmed in 92 countries and has the potential to be more lethal than other variants, with the ability to “pick off” the most vulnerable.

  • The White House said Tuesday that the U.S. is likely to fall short of President Joe Biden’s goals of administering vaccines to 70% of adults and getting 160 million people fully vaccinated by July 4.

  • Although 70% of adults 27 and older will have received at least one shot by July 4, vaccinating all adults will require “a few extra weeks,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said. The goal of 160 million fully vaccinated adults will be met “no later than mid-July.”

What’s Next: Fauci said studies have shown that the

Pfizer



BioNTech

vaccine is 88% effective against the Delta variant two weeks after the second dose, and he urged Americans to get fully vaccinated to “crush the outbreak.”

Janet H. Cho

***

Morgan Stanley Bars Unvaccinated Employees and Clients From New York Offices

Investment bank

Morgan Stanley

told its staff on Tuesday that employees, clients, and visitors will have to prove they have been “fully vaccinated” before being allowed access to the firm’s offices in New York.

  • The policy will take effect on July 12, according to a memo signed by chief human resources officer Mandell Crawley, quoted by the Financial Times.

  • Unvaccinated employees will have to keep working remotely. The bank has already created some vaccinated only spaces in some of its divisions.

  • The bank said the decision will allow it to accelerate the transition to normal working conditions in the office, with the removal of previous restrictions, social distancing, and facial coverings for vaccinated staff.

What’s Next: Morgan Stanley could follow

Goldman Sachs

in requiring employees to disclose their vaccine status. Such disclosure is voluntary at Morgan Stanley, as it is at

JPMorgan.

Pierre Briançon

***

New Antitrust Regulator to Review Amazon’s MGM Deal

The Federal Trade Commission will review

Amazon.com’s

planned takeover of the Hollywood studio MGM. The regulator’s new chair, Lina Khan, has been critical of the online retailer’s size and influence.

  • Amazon announced the $8.5 billion equity and debt deal last month to boost its video streaming capabilities as it competes with

    Netflix

    and

    Disney.

    MGM’s library includes the James Bond film franchise and television shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings.

  • The FTC shares antitrust review duties with the Justice Department, which reviewed Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox and AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner, a deal it unsuccessfully tried to block.

  • The FTC pushed to review the Amazon-MGM deal because it already has an open, wide-ranging antitrust investigation into Amazon’s business practices, The Wall Street Journal reported. The FTC and Amazon didn’t comment on the report.

  • Amazon produces its own video content for Prime and has bought sports broadcasting rights, such as Thursday Night Football starting next year. But MGM is one of the smaller Hollywood studios.

What’s Next: FTC’s Khan, confirmed to the commission last week, made her name in antitrust circles by criticizing Amazon and broadly has argued that U.S. antitrust enforcement needs major changes to rein in dominant companies.

Liz Moyer

***

Home Prices Hit a High in May, Growing Fastest Since 1999

The median existing home price rose 23.6% to a record $350,300 in May, the highest year-over-year jump in at least 22 years, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. More buyers, lower borrowing rates, and fewer available homes pushed prices up.

  • As in previous months, sales are rising most dramatically among the most expensive homes. Sales of homes priced at more than $1 million more than doubled in May compared with last year.

  • Despite that, overall existing home sales fell 0.9% in May, the fourth straight month of declines. “Affordability appears to be now squeezing away some buyers,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

  • Mortgage applications have slowed this spring, a sign that some buyers are waiting out the red-hot market. Applications fell 17% from a year earlier in the week ended June 11, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

  • Blackstone Group on Tuesday announced it had agreed to pay $6 billion for Home Partners of America, a company that buys and rents more than 17,000 single-family homes throughout the U.S., and offers tenants the opportunity to eventually buy their homes.

What’s Next: Homes spent only about 17 days on the market in May, and sellers are getting multiple offers, fueled by low mortgage rates. More than half of homes sold above their list price in May, real-estate brokerage Redfin said.

—Shaina Mishkin and Janet H. Cho

***

Peloton Gears Up for Return to the Office


Peloton Interactive,

once a stay-at-home darling, is shifting gears for the return to the office.

  • Peloton is launching a corporate wellness program that includes subsidized memberships, special offers on equipment, and tailored enterprise features for employees like group challenges. Shares rose 8.4% on Tuesday.

  • Companies can get aggregated and anonymized data reports on employee activity. Peloton said

    Wayfair,

    Samsung, SAP, Accenture Interactive, and Sky were among the first corporations to offer the Peloton Corporate Wellness program to its employees.

  • Separately on Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that Peloton is working on an armband that tracks users’ heart rates. Bloomberg cited programming code in the Peloton iPhone and iPad app, which described the device. A Peloton spokesperson declined to comment.

What’s Next: Some analysts have questioned whether Peloton can keep up its pandemic-fueled growth. Offering programs for large corporations could be one area for the company to attract new customers.

Connor Smith

***

Dear Quentin,

My fiancée and I are currently in the process of planning a wedding, reassessing where we’d like to buy a house. She is about to begin her 10-month unpaid internship in order to complete her Master’s degree.

Throughout all of this, the biggest issue we’re facing is the wedding. We have been together for close to 11 years, and have been engaged for one year.

For the longest time, I thought we were on the same page—small wedding, no engagement photos, save the money, get a house, why go into marriage in debt?

As we begin to peel the layers of the onion, her thoughts have changed dramatically. She now envisions a wedding with 80-plus guests in a rented venue. She wants engagement photos. She wants to provide either plated or buffet food.

Her parents have offered close to $10,000 to help, but I have insisted that money is better suited for a downpayment on a house.

All of these things are adding up, even though we set a hard budget at $15,000, and we don’t even have a quarter of that saved. I have money in stocks and I have savings, but I am strongly refusing to touch either of them for the sake of this joyous occasion.

Her parents have offered close to $10,000 to help, but I have insisted that money is better suited for a downpayment on a house when the time comes.

I’m being looked at as simply someone who is unwilling to budge, and she’s asked if I truly even want to get married.

How do I go about approaching this? I don’t want to stonewall her at every turn. I want her to have an amazing day we remember for the rest of our lives, but she’s yet to propose a plan on how we can save this money. I am beginning to feel as though she’s looking at me to foot the bill almost entirely by myself.

Marriage sure does make love suck. Please tell me if I’m pinching my pennies a little too tightly, or if I’m right on the money.

—Frustrated With Financials

Read The Moneyist’s response here.

Quentin Fottrell

***

—Newsletter edited by Liz Moyer, Mary Romano, Matt Bemer, Ben Levisohn

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2021-06-23 04:52:00
Image credit: source

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