Stocks were lower to start Wednesday with the Dow dropping 37 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 slid 0.4%, while the Nasdaq fell 1%.
Bitcoin surged to a new record high above $51,000. The world’s largest cryptocurrency surged to a high of $51,735 early Wednesday morning, and is at $51,058 at the time of writing, bringing its year-to-date gains to more than 74%. “There are a number of reasons why bitcoin is soaring, but what stands out most is the trend that MicroStrategy started and Tesla popularized: moving institutional balance sheets into bitcoin to hedge against inflation,” said Nicholas Pelecanos, head of trading at NEM. But even as the digital coin continues to climb to ever higher highs, JPMorgan strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou said in a note today that the rally in bitcoin “looks unsustainable” unless volatility eases. Panigirtzoglou wrote that limited supply of the digital token and retail demand may be pushing prices. “Movements since January this year appear to have been more influenced by speculative flows,” the strategists wrote.
The deep freeze that has forced the shutdown of refineries, oil wells, and meat plants in the Southern U.S. is still leaving more than 3 million people without electricity and could leave some in Texas in the dark for the next several days. “A significant amount of capacity remains offline,” said Morris Greenberg, senior manager at S&P Global Platts Analytics. An estimated three million barrels per day of oil production remains offline, while power production from natural gas, coal, renewables and other sources has been impacted as consumers turn up their thermostats amid the cold temperatures. With production still ground to a halt, West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose as much as 2% to trade at $61.25 per barrel, the highest level in more than a year. With “oil wells and refineries offline, we could be facing a significant shortfall for a number of days, further tightening supply at a time when it has already been restricted and demand is expected to return,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst a Oanda.
Vir Biotechnology shares are up 10% this morning after GlaxoSmithKline said it is teaming up with the infectious disease biotech to develop the same type of treatments for the flu that they have made for COVID-19. GSK and Vir have worked together on two monoclonal antibodies to treat and prevent the coronavirus, which are currently being tested in various clinical trials. “This expanded collaboration supports the rapid advancement of multiple promising investigational compounds in our pipeline, increasing the likelihood that these potential lifesaving treatments will reach patients sooner, and will advance our shared goal of developing singly drugs that can address multiple ‘bugs,’” said Vir CEO George Scangos.
Maersk shares are up more than 2% this morning after the shipping giant said it will launch a carbon-neutral vessel by 2023, seven years ahead of schedule, as it seeks to reduce its environmental footprint. The world’s largest shipping company said the vessel will be powered by either carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol, and all new vessels will be able to run on carbon neutral fuels, with the company adding that it will “install dual fuel engines on future newbuildings.” “If you don’t do this, then years from now we risk becoming irrelevant. Our customers need us to do this. … We have learned a lot as a company about the opportunities that are there, technology has developed,” said Morten Bo Christiansen. “And, last but not least, our customers are clearly expecting this from us, they need us to support them in decarbonizing their supply chains.”
And Ford said it is investing $1 billion in an electric vehicle production facility in Cologne, Germany, with the European arm of the automaker committing to go “all-in” on EVs in the years ahead. Ford said this morning that its entire passenger vehicle range in Europe will be “zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid” by the middle of 2026, with a “completely all-electric” offering by 2030. “Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility, the home of our operations in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation,” said Stuart Rowley, Ford of Europe’s president. “It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth.”
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SilverSun Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: SSNT): SilverSun said today that it has been named to the 2021 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category by CRN, a brand of The Channel Company. “We’re proud to be named to the CRN MSP500 Elite 150 for the fifth consecutive year,” said Mark Meller, CEO of both SilverSun and SWK. “Our team has done a remarkable job during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the “work-from-home” paradigm has become part of every company’s reality over this past year, our Managed Cloud Services division has ensured that our customers can in fact work remotely, accessing their data and mission critical applications safely and securely from both home and the road. This has enabled these companies to effectively work and collaborate remotely while simultaneously maintaining the health and safety of their employees. Whether in cybersecurity, application hosting, business continuity, disaster recovery or helpdesk, the SWK team enables the success of our customers by helping them realize value for their IT investments each and every day.”