Last weerk’s record highs are no more as traders brace for impeachment chaos; Bitcoin swoons

Twitter and Facebook, which recently banned President Trump, lost 6.4% and 4%, respectively

4:15 pm: Traders try to price in Biden’s impact on the tech industry

The Dow lost 89 points, 0.3%, on Monday, dropping to 31,009. The Nasdaq fell 165 points, 1.3%, to 13,036, and the S&P 500 declined 25 points, 0.7%, to 3,800. 

Markets broadly lost ground to start the week after last week saw the major indices set records. 

() and Facebook (), which recently banned President Trump’s accounts, lost 6.4% and 4%, respectively. House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, and members are expected to vote this week.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) also fell back to earth after trading above $41,000 over the weekend. The cryptocurrency fell to $33,382.05.

12:20 pm: Facebook, Twitter both lose ground

The major indices are lower, albeit less so than at the open. At midday, the Dow was down 77 points, 0.2%, at 31,020, the Nasdaq dropped 89 points, 0.7%, to 13,112, and the S&P 500 lost 14 points, 0.4%, to 3,810.

“Social media stocks are under pressure because there are fears the impending Biden administration will tighten regulation on the sector,” Madden wrote. “Some Republican politicians are keen to crack down on the tech giants too. In the past few days, President Trump’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts were been suspended, hence why the social media firms are receiving extra attention… Traders are concerned about the groups’ user bases and in turn advertising streams might be impacted.”

Facebook fell 1.8% to $262.63, and Twitter sank more than 5% to $48.74.

10:30 am: Proactive North America headlines:

Humanigen Inc (NASDAQ:HGEN) (FRA:0KB2) strikes partnership with life sciences group to launch lenzilumab for coronavirus if emergency use is granted

Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp () () (FRA:2UE)announces the launch of Premium 5’s new brand RAD

() (OTCQX:NTTHF) (FRA:NE2) hires engineering giant Worley for 3Q project DFS as lithium carbonate prices recover

selects formulation for continuous subcutaneous lenalidomide delivery system for CLL treatment

() (FRA:20MP) submits application to list on the OTCQB market in New York

Nextleaf Solutions Ltd () ()  says US Patent and Trademark Office has granted it a patent for a process resulting in a solventless cannabis concentrate

() (FRA:0V5) completes acquisition of title and settlement firm Timios Holdings Corp

Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc () () (FRA:AGW) lead drug Ifenprodil named as potential COVID-19 treatment in European scientific journal

() (OTCMKTS:SOHFF) hails fourth quarter output improvements at Campo Morado mine

() adds biotechnology veteran Patrick Lucy to its board

9:43 am: Wall Street starts lower

The main indices on Wall Street started the week in the red as political instability and surging cases of COVID-19 rattled investors in New York.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.45% at 30,957 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.77% to 3,795 and the Nasdaq fell 1.33% to 13,026.

The spate of optimism into 2021 seems to have finally cooled as investors appear to be realising that things may be about to get worse before they get better, leading some to perhaps consider pocketing their profits now than wait for equities to push any higher.

Sentiment seems to be on the turn across the market, with cryptocurrency Bitcoin also suffering heavy falls from its recent peaks and was down 17% at US$33,370 over the last 24 hours.

Also on the decline this morning was social media giant (), which slumped 10% to US$46.32 following its banning of Donald Trump on Twitter.

7:35 am: Wall Street to head lower

US indices look set to follow their European counterparts and head south at the start of the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to shed 90 points to open at around 30,908 while the broader-based S&P 500 is tipped to start at 3,807, down 18 points.

The Nasdaq Composite is seen opening its account at around 13,053, down 148 points.

Bond yields have hardened on speculation that the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, will taper off its purchases of bonds this year.

“Bond yields, despite last week’s move above 1% in the US 10 year are still very low, which means in the absence of a viable alternative stocks still look attractive, despite today’s weakness,” observed CMC’s Michael Hewson.

“One other reason for the slightly weaker start to proceedings is an increase in coronavirus cases in China, which has thus far managed to avoid a second wave of infections, and where the economy is looking fairly resilient. If the virus regains a foothold here, as Chinese authorities impose new regional restrictions, that could well act as a brake on recent economic activity,” he added,

Meanwhile, the clock ticks down on President Trump’s sojourn in the White House. It is due to end on January 20, assuming they can winkle him out that apparently is not soon enough for some Democrat politicians, who are reportedly going to introduce an article of impeachment today seeking to charge President Trump with “incitement of insurrection”.

The House of Representatives could vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday; if it does, it would make Trump the first president to be impeached twice.

It all seems a bit pointless – notwithstanding the fact Trump presumably still has the authority to blow us all to kingdom come – from a practical standpoint but would send some sort of signal.

“The Democrats are moving to try and impeach Donald Trump before Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th and while that won’t have too much of an effect on actual governance – something Trump hasn’t been interested in since November anyway – it is indicative of an unstable, and potentially violent, few months in America,” suggested Connor Campbell at .

Four things to watch for on Monday:

  • There are few mid-cap earnings reports due on Monday including fourth quarter figures from IT firm SYNNEX Corp (NYSE:SNX) and first quarter numbers from Commercial Metals Co () and science software firm Inc ()
  • Bitcoin will also be back in focus after the crypto fell sharply overnight and UK regulators warned investors could see themselves lose all of the money they invest in cryptocurrency and other digital assets
  • Investors will also be taking an interest in the dollar, which has been strengthening at the start of the week in a sign traders may be getting jumpy amid the ongoing political instability in the US
  • There is little in the macro diary, although some investors may be interested in the US consumer inflation expectations data for December

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