Dow Rises; Bitcoin Price Tops $45,000; Oil Rallies
After a banner 12 months for stocks, 2024 is starting on a gloomy note—particularly for tech shares.
Last year ended with a rally in most assets, spurred by a belief that the Federal Reserve is about to start cutting interest rates. Derivative markets place a high likelihood on the first cut coming as soon as March. On Wall Street, optimism abounds about the prospects for the stock market in 2024.
Still, markets sometimes tumble just when investors expect good times to roll on. Risks include political uncertainty caused by the presidential election, geopolitical tensions and an economic shock that drags the country into a recession.
Major stock indexes mostly fell. The tech-focused Nasdaq led the way lower, dropping more than 1.5%, as shares in Apple and major chip companies came under pressure. The S&P 500 declined 0.7%. The Dow industrials were about flat.
Oil prices fell. Crude pulled back after initially shooting higher when Iranian state media reported that Tehran sent a warship to the Red Sea. Maersk said it would pause all transit through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
Bitcoin prices climbed above $45,000.
Treasury yields rose, pushing the 10-year yield above 3.9%.
Japan’s yen weakened after a powerful earthquake, while its stock market was closed for a public holiday. Chinese data showed that manufacturing activity shrank in December. Mainland shares fell.