Dow, Bitcoin Take Steep Losses as Government Shutdown Hits Day 24

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Bitcoin price took steep losses on Monday, as high-risk assets and traditional investments alike grappled with the ramifications of the government shutdown, a growing US-China trade imbalance, and bearish technical indicators.

Dow Poised to Open to Steep Losses on Monday

As of 8:35 am ET, Dow futures implied a loss of 196 points or 0.82 percent at the open after trading more than 200 points down earlier in the day. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also traded firmly in the red, indicating opening bell losses of 0.84 percent and 1.04 percent, respectively.

dow jones, s&p 500, nasdaqThe Dow Industrial Average (blue), S&P 500 (red), and Nasdaq (orange) traded down ahead of Monday’s open.

All three indices had snapped a five-day winning streak on Friday, ending a string of consecutive daily gains that was longer than any the stock market had seen for months. In fact, the Dow and its peers had ended the first seven trading sessions of 2019 with their best start to a year since 2006.

Increasingly, the stock market appears unable to shake off mounting concerns related to the US government shutdown and US-China trade war, and Wall Street must further now contend with what some analysts believe could be a disappointing earnings season.

Trump Digs in, Blames Democrats for Government Shutdown

us government shutdownThe partial US government shutdown is now the longest in history. | Source: ZeroHedge

The US partial government shutdown entered its 24th day on Monday, extending what was already the longest government shutdown in the country’s history.

Many observers had expected US President Donald Trump to strike a deal with House Democrats before Friday when hundreds of thousands of federal workers missed their first full paychecks. (Affected workers will be compensated once their departments receive funding, but many do not possess the savings to tide them over.)

Nancy and Cryin’ Chuck can end the Shutdown in 15 minutes. At this point it has become their, and the Democrats, fault!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019

However, the weekend came and went without an agreement to pass a spending bill, and Trump continues to issue conflicting statements on whether he will declare the situation at the US-Mexico border a national emergency, which — pending a court battle — could provide him with funding to build his desired border wall without congressional approval.

In the meantime, Trump continues to blame the shutdown on congressional Democrats, specifically House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader “Cryin” Chuck Schumer.

“Nancy and Cryin’ Chuck can end the Shutdown in 15 minutes,” he tweeted on Monday. “At this point it has become their, and the Democrats, fault!”

US-China Trade Deficit Grows

xi jinping us-china trade warThe trade imbalance between the US and China grew in 2018.

Concurrently, newly-published government data indicates that the US trade deficit with China is growing, despite the Trump administration’s controversial trade war.

According to Reuters, China’s trade surplus with the US was at least $323.32 billion in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 17 percent and the largest discrepancy since 2006.

As CCN reported, the US and China recently concluded a round of mid-level trade talks that appeared to bring the world’s two largest economies closer to reaching a deal to end the trade war, which is scheduled to heighten when a “tariff truce” expires on March 1.

However, this data could embolden the protectionists within the Trump administration to increase their commitment to tariffs intended to rebalance the trade relationship between the US and China.

Wall Street Squirms as Earnings Season Opens

While the government shutdown and trade war continue to weigh on the stock market, traders will be closely watching the beginning of corporate earnings season, as publicly-listed firms publish fourth-quarter results that analysts worry may be less than rosy.

Already this morning, banking giant Citigroup announced that it had missed analyst estimates by around half a billion dollars, or 2.8 percent, blaming a decline in bond trading revenue.

Bitcoin Price Dips Below ‘GTFO’ Level

On the cryptocurrency front, the picture is perhaps even bleaker. Sunday saw bellwether the market endure another major sell-off, forcing the Bitcoin price as low as $3,481 on crypto exchange Coinbase for a weekly decline of more than 11 percent.

bitcoin priceThe Bitcoin price has entered dangerous territory, according to some analysts including Mark Dow.

Other top coins have fared even worse, with the ripple price dropping 12.5 percent to $0.32 over the past week and ethereum and Bitcoin cash each plunging more than 23 percent. Just one top-ten cryptocurrency — Tron — continues to flash a green weekly candle, though it has completely erased the rally it assembled earlier in the month.

Bitcoin’s five-day chart shows three distinct sell-offs, and many cryptocurrency analysts have taken this recent performance as evidence…

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