Stocks were higher at the open on Tuesday with the Dow rising by nearly 20 points, or less than 0.1%. The S&P 500 gained 0.1%, while the Nasdaq added 0.4%.
Bitcoin has dropped below $30,000 for the first time since June 22, dropping as low as $29,306.77 this morning. The drop in the world’s largest cryptocurrency also sparked a drop in other cryptos, with Ether falling as low as $1,719.39, XRP falling to $0.51, and Cardano dropping as low as $1.02. In total, around $89 billion was wiped off the entire cryptocurrency market in 24 hours. “All signals are red as BTC (Bitcoin) continues to be weighed down by China’s ultimate crypto ban and worsening macro economic conditions from a surge in COVID variants,” said Jehan Chu, founder of cryptocurrency-focused venture capital and trading firm Kenetic Capital. “Q1’s crypto market momentum has stalled and is threatening further reversal potentially below the $25K levels.”
IBM shares are up more than 3.55% after the enterprise technology company reported its strongest revenue growth in three years. IBM posted second quarter earnings per share of $2.33 on revenue of $18.75 billion, versus estimates for earnings per share of $2.29 on revenue of $18.29 billion. “The overall spend environment continues to improve,” said CEO Arvind Krishna on a call with analysts. “With the economy reopening in many parts of the world, many markets and industries are getting back on track. We see this in North American and in select industries. CFO Jim Kavanaugh added, “While our performance with existing clients remains strong, as we would expect, the sales cycles for new logo clients is elongating as they await further information related to Kyndryl,” referring to IBM’s Managed Infrastructure Services component of Global Technology Services, which the company plans to spin off by the end of this year.
In other earnings news, UBS reported a 63% jump in net profit to $2 billion on the strength of its wealth management business in the second quarter. The bank also reported operating income of $8.98 billion, up from $7.4 billion in the same period last year. “Our growth in the second quarter was underpinned by the relationships we have built and strengthened throughout the pandemic and by the trust our clients placed in our people and in our firm. All business divisions and all regions contributed to our results,” said UBS CEO Ralph Hamers in a statement. “Momentum is on our side and our strategic choices and initiatives are paying off. And we are eager to make the most of the future.”
Nasdaq said it is partnering with major U.S. banks, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, to spin out its platform that enables investors to trade in stocks of private companies. Nasdaq Private Market will become a standalone as part of the deal, and will receive investments from SVB Financial Group, in addition to the banks above. “Since we launched Nasdaq Private Market in 2014, we have created a trusted platform for private companies resulting in a strong track record and robust pipeline of secondary transactions,” Nelson Griggs, President of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, said in a statement. “This joint venture will accelerate our opportunities in the private company secondary trading market and establish the standard for technology-driven operational efficiencies, compliance and execution.”
And the COVID-19 delta variant is now estimated to make up 83% of all sequenced cases of the virus in the U.S., the CDC said today. “This is a dramatic increase up from 50%, the week of July 3,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a Senate hearing, adding that the surge in cases of the delta variant is leading to more deaths, with fatalities rising by 48% over the past week. “Each death is tragic and even more heartbreaking when we know that the majority of these deaths could be prevented with a simple, safe available vaccine.” With COVID cases again on the rise, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy urged the state’s unvaccinated to get the vaccine, and said he would reimplement public health restrictions including mask mandates if necessary. “We’ve got probably 350 folks in our hospitals. We keep them in our prayers. But I venture to say, they’re all unvaccinated. So I would just continue to … plead with people to get vaccinated,” Murphy said.
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Albertsons Companies Inc (NYSE: ACI): Albertsons shares rose as much as 3.4% yesterday after the grocery chain announced that its pharmacies have administered 6 million COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide. “As front-line healthcare providers, our pharmacy teams have been heroic in administering millions of vaccinations to our customers across the country and providing them with critical information and solutions during these unprecedented times,” said Omer Gajial, Albertsons Companies SVP of Pharmacy and Health. “With these enhancements, we are proud to be able to offer local communities new resources to help keep them safe and make informed decisions about their health as we continue to navigate through this public health crisis together.”