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MARCH 8, 2024

STRONG JOB CREATION

According to the latest data released by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. showed strong job creation in February, with nonfarm payrolls growing by 275,000, surpassing expectations. However, despite this positive result, the unemployment rate slightly rose to 3.9%, the highest since 2022. Meanwhile, monthly average hourly wages increased by 0.1% instead of the anticipated 0.3%, annual wage growth remained at 4.3%. Moreover, it is worth noting that despite these fluctuations and some areas showing slower growth, the labor force participation rate remained steady, and the overall picture indicates a vibrant U.S. labor market with resilience. In terms of market reactions, they were calm, with stable stock futures, although Treasury yields decreased noticeably. Furthermore, looking ahead, the focus will be on the upcoming consumer price index report to assess inflation trends.

ALTCOINS RALLY

Meme coins like PEPE, SHIB, and DOGE have surged up to 26% in the last 24 hours, riding on the coattails of Bitcoin and Ethereum’s growth. Traders are using these tokens as a means to bet on Ethereum’s success, amplified by the recent surge in ETH prices since January and anticipation for a spot ETF approval in the U.S. This momentum saw Pepecoin (PEPE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Dogecoin (DOGE) all experiencing notable gains as Ethereum (ETH) approached $4,000 – a level last seen in December 2021. The bullish trend has sparked renewed optimism, particularly with PEPE leading the rally with a 26% surge, while DOGE and SHIB also rebounded from losses with a 10% rise each. The meme coin sector showed an average 8.6% growth on CoinGecko, outperforming the broader CoinDesk 20 index, which increased by 2.53%. Moreover, with the current popularity of meme coins as a proxy bet on Ethereum’s growth expected to persist, experts caution a potential shift back towards more “fundamentally driven” altcoins in the near future.

INDEX DISARRAY

The Dow Jones U.S. Dividend 100 Index, which is known for including companies with solid financial standing and consistent dividend payouts, underwent a recent upheaval due to a mix-up in the release of its changes by S&P Dow Jones Indices, causing significant turmoil in the stock market. Major corporations such as Morgan Stanley, Pfizer, and PNC Financial Services Group were thrust into the spotlight as their inclusion or exclusion from the index was inaccurately represented. This resulted in a rollercoaster ride of stock prices for these companies, prompting traders to hastily adjust their positions following the release of the corrected list after the market’s closure on Tuesday. The chaos unleashed by this error led to heightened trading volumes for the affected companies, underscoring the far-reaching repercussions of such mishaps on market activities.

POSSIBLE STOCK SPLIT

Nvidia Corp. has experienced a remarkable surge, adding over $1 trillion in value this year and driving its stock price close to $1,000. Although the company last split its shares in May 2021, when it was trading at around $600 per share, some market analysts speculate that Nvidia may make a similar move soon to appeal to smaller investors. Stock splits, essentially a cosmetic alteration redistributing equity over more shares, are generally intended to make shares more accessible to retail investors without altering the company’s fundamental value. While Nvidia has not officially announced any plans for a split, its stock remains popular among retail investors alongside other tech giants like Apple and Tesla. As the company continues to exhibit consistent growth, a stock split could be a reasonable step in the future, nonetheless, it is worth noting that despite the success of major tech companies, the broader market trend has seen fewer stock splits in recent years, with companies like Microsoft abstaining since 2003, highlighting the rarity of this practice in today’s tech landscape.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Global markets, including those in Europe and Asia, are showing positive signs as their stock markets have seen significant gains. This boost in stock prices follows key events such as the European Central Bank’s meeting and favorable economic indicators, driving up major indexes like Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC 40, and the pan-European Stoxx 600 to record highs in Europe. The ECB now projects inflation to average 2.3% this year, down from an earlier forecast of 2.7%, and although ECB President Christine Lagarde hinted at no immediate rate cuts in April during a press conference, the market responded positively to advancements in addressing inflation. Additionally, markets in Asia, such as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and Japan’s Nikkei 225, reflected also a positive trend with notable increases, due to the Bank of Japan also giving hints that it is leaning towards exiting negative rates this month.

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