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Does the bitcoin price rising over 10% in a week suggest an end to the bear market is near?

Since the beginning of the year, the dollar exchange rate of Bitcoin is up 27%. The original and leading cryptocurrency, it still…
The post Does the…



Since the beginning of the year, the dollar exchange rate of Bitcoin is up 27%. The original and leading cryptocurrency, it still accounts for over 41% of the total cryptocurrency market’s value, has recovered alongside the tradition assets classes of stocks and bonds this year.

The strong start to the year, which has seen the Bitcoin price top $21,000 again from a recent low of $15,757.2 set on November 9th 2022, has raised hopes among bulls that the “crypto winter” could prove far shorter than feared. Bitcoin and other riskier assets have benefitted from growing confidence that global inflation rates, recently running at decades-long highs, are starting to cool.


Last week, the US consumer price index posted an inflation rate of 6.5% in December, the sixth consecutive month of decline. Aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other major central banks like the Bank of England appear to be having the desired effect.

While Bitcoin was once put forward as a hedge against inflation, its movements in the past year have tended to be in line with interest rate expectations. Like other riskier asset classes, investors have been moving out of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies when the expectation has been for interest rates to rise.

When market sentiment has started to favour the likelihood of slower rate hikes and a lower high point being required to bring inflation under control, the Bitcoin price has dropped. Bitcoin began to tumble from its record high of nearly $70,000 in November 2021 when investors reached the conclusion soaring inflation would not be the short term post-pandemic phenomenon economic consensus first expected it to be.

Positive economic sentiment supporting Bitcoin price recovery

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, JPMorgan’s managing director for alternative and digital assets commented this week that the rally across most major asset classes this year has been based on hopes for ‘soft landing’ for the U.S. economy and also boosted crypto sentiment. He sees the softening of the dollar from 2022 highs are another factor in favour of further Bitcoin price rises. The trend has catalysed rising prices for commodities including gold which has, he says, helped “reprice Bitcoin as a substitute asset class”.


Bitcoin’s positive recent momentum is being mirrored by other major cryptocurrencies such as Ether, which is up almost 30% since the beginning of January. Unlike Bitcoin, Ether is seen as a utility coin rather than a potential alternative to fiat currencies or store of value. It is used to pay for computing power bandwidth on the Ethereum platform which many crypto and blockchain projects are built on. That ties demand for Ether tightly to overall crypto and blockchain-sector activity.

Overall, the market value of the top 500 crypto tokens has risen back to $1tn from $830bn at the end of last year but remains well off its November 2021 peak above $3.2tn. That upward momentum has, details a report from crypto investment service BitStacker, saw Bitcoin shorter lose in $386.74 million in position liquidations between January 10 and 16.

Kris Lucas, an analyst at BitStacker quoted by the Independent newspaper, comments:

“While it’s always sad to see traders losing money on their investments, the study does show that cryptocurrencies might finally be bouncing back. 2022 was a very tough year for cryptocurrencies with the collapse of several major exchanges, as well as the Terra stablecoin. However, the fact that bitcoin is starting to regain its value could suggest that the so-called crypto winter could soon be over.”

Could Bitcoin’s recent upward momentum prove to be a bear trap?

Despite a positive start to the year, confidence in crypto markets remains fragile. Investors remain wary of further sudden shocks after the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX. Another potential shock on the horizon is the fate of Genesis, one of the biggest lenders in the crypto market.

It froze customer withdrawals at its lending unit in November after FTX’s failure, blaming “unprecedented market turmoil” and owes its creditors more than $3bn. Its parent, crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group, is trying to raise the capital required to prevent Genesis being forced into bankruptcy. However, some analysts believe that Genesis collapsing has already been priced into the crypto market so that fate being confirmed would not have a major negative impact on prices.

There are also analysts who believe a good part of Bitcoin’s gains this week are a direct result of short sellers being forced to liquidate positions.

The Financial Times quotes David Moreno Darocas, research lead at data provider CryptoCompare, also injects a word of caution on how long lived the early 2023 Bitcoin rally may prove to be:

“Some upside volatility was due to come eventually and does not mean that this move upwards will be sustainable.”

The fragility of recently more positive crypto sentiment was also highlighted this week when the U.S. government announced a press conference for some major crypto-sector news, resulting in a $1000 Bitcoin price flash crash in less than an hour. In the end, it turned out the news was positive, announcing the breakup of a major crypto crime network and the Bitcoin price quickly moved into a bullish trajectory again.

However, the sharp movement down demonstrated the fragility of positive sentiment and calls into question if the current bear market’s bottom was indeed reached late last year. Despite that, January has been the best few weeks from the crypto market in nearly a year.

Nigel Green, CEO of financial advisors deVere Group told the Independent he believes improved inflation data points to better times ahead for Bitcoin:

“We are technically still in a bear market, but the signs are the bulls are beginning to take back control.”

Bitcoin bears are convinced it’s not a question of when the leading cryptocurrency goes to zero, not when a bull market returns

Crypto market sceptics, however, remain convinced any current upwards momentum for Bitcoin is simply delaying its inevitable decline towards irrelevance and a value of zero. While the American banking giant JPMorgan is very much hedging its position on cryptocurrencies, it is actively developing blockchain technology being integrated into its services and has created its own token (JPM Coin) used for intraday repurchase agreements, its CEO is a vocal critic of the sector.

In a wide ranging interview for the CNBC show Squawk Box given at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dimon responded to a question on Bitcoin with his own, querying what they would “waste any breath” discussing the cryptocurrency. He then did waste a little more breath to disparage Bitcoin as “a hyped-up fraud, a pet rock.”

Pressed further on whether he considered the entire crypto sector a Ponzi scheme, Dimon responded:

“You guys have all seen the analysis of TetherUSD and all these things, the lack of disclosures, its outrageous. Regulators should have stopped this a long time ago. People have lost billions of dollars if you look at its lower-income people, in some cases retirees.”

The dissonance between JPMorgan the bank’s active hedging for that cryptocurrencies will make a comeback and establish themselves as fixture of financial markets, it even registered a trademark for a cryptocurrency wallet in late 2022, and its CEO labelling the whole sector a Ponzi scheme, can be seen as a microcosm for broader attitudes. Individuals have their opinions but when the future of corporations are at stake, few are willing to bet too heavily on either camp being proved right.

It’s still very hard to call if, in the long term, Bitcoin’s days are numbered or if it will finally establish itself once and for all. In the meanwhile, barring any major new developments not yet on the radar of investors and market observers, it seems likely that the Bitcoin price will continue to show close correlation with other riskier asset classes.

If economic data continues to improve and the U.S. avoids a painful recession, that is likely to continue to support the positive momentum Bitcoin has enjoyed so far in 2023. If it, and crucially market sentiment, turn more negative again, the recent rally could quickly run out of steam.

The post Does the bitcoin price rising over 10% in a week suggest an end to the bear market is near? first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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Homes listed for sale in early June sell for $7,700 more

New Zillow research suggests the spring home shopping season may see a second wave this summer if mortgage rates fall
The post Homes listed for sale in…



  • A Zillow analysis of 2023 home sales finds homes listed in the first two weeks of June sold for 2.3% more. 
  • The best time to list a home for sale is a month later than it was in 2019, likely driven by mortgage rates.
  • The best time to list can be as early as the second half of February in San Francisco, and as late as the first half of July in New York and Philadelphia. 

Spring home sellers looking to maximize their sale price may want to wait it out and list their home for sale in the first half of June. A new Zillow® analysis of 2023 sales found that homes listed in the first two weeks of June sold for 2.3% more, a $7,700 boost on a typical U.S. home.  

The best time to list consistently had been early May in the years leading up to the pandemic. The shift to June suggests mortgage rates are strongly influencing demand on top of the usual seasonality that brings buyers to the market in the spring. This home-shopping season is poised to follow a similar pattern as that in 2023, with the potential for a second wave if the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates midyear or later. 

The 2.3% sale price premium registered last June followed the first spring in more than 15 years with mortgage rates over 6% on a 30-year fixed-rate loan. The high rates put home buyers on the back foot, and as rates continued upward through May, they were still reassessing and less likely to bid boldly. In June, however, rates pulled back a little from 6.79% to 6.67%, which likely presented an opportunity for determined buyers heading into summer. More buyers understood their market position and could afford to transact, boosting competition and sale prices.

The old logic was that sellers could earn a premium by listing in late spring, when search activity hit its peak. Now, with persistently low inventory, mortgage rate fluctuations make their own seasonality. First-time home buyers who are on the edge of qualifying for a home loan may dip in and out of the market, depending on what’s happening with rates. It is almost certain the Federal Reserve will push back any interest-rate cuts to mid-2024 at the earliest. If mortgage rates follow, that could bring another surge of buyers later this year.

Mortgage rates have been impacting affordability and sale prices since they began rising rapidly two years ago. In 2022, sellers nationwide saw the highest sale premium when they listed their home in late March, right before rates barreled past 5% and continued climbing. 

Zillow’s research finds the best time to list can vary widely by metropolitan area. In 2023, it was as early as the second half of February in San Francisco, and as late as the first half of July in New York. Thirty of the top 35 largest metro areas saw for-sale listings command the highest sale prices between May and early July last year. 

Zillow also found a wide range in the sale price premiums associated with homes listed during those peak periods. At the hottest time of the year in San Jose, homes sold for 5.5% more, a $88,000 boost on a typical home. Meanwhile, homes in San Antonio sold for 1.9% more during that same time period.  


Metropolitan Area Best Time to List Price Premium Dollar Boost
United States First half of June 2.3% $7,700
New York, NY First half of July 2.4% $15,500
Los Angeles, CA First half of May 4.1% $39,300
Chicago, IL First half of June 2.8% $8,800
Dallas, TX First half of June 2.5% $9,200
Houston, TX Second half of April 2.0% $6,200
Washington, DC Second half of June 2.2% $12,700
Philadelphia, PA First half of July 2.4% $8,200
Miami, FL First half of June 2.3% $12,900
Atlanta, GA Second half of June 2.3% $8,700
Boston, MA Second half of May 3.5% $23,600
Phoenix, AZ First half of June 3.2% $14,700
San Francisco, CA Second half of February 4.2% $50,300
Riverside, CA First half of May 2.7% $15,600
Detroit, MI First half of July 3.3% $7,900
Seattle, WA First half of June 4.3% $31,500
Minneapolis, MN Second half of May 3.7% $13,400
San Diego, CA Second half of April 3.1% $29,600
Tampa, FL Second half of June 2.1% $8,000
Denver, CO Second half of May 2.9% $16,900
Baltimore, MD First half of July 2.2% $8,200
St. Louis, MO First half of June 2.9% $7,000
Orlando, FL First half of June 2.2% $8,700
Charlotte, NC Second half of May 3.0% $11,000
San Antonio, TX First half of June 1.9% $5,400
Portland, OR Second half of April 2.6% $14,300
Sacramento, CA First half of June 3.2% $17,900
Pittsburgh, PA Second half of June 2.3% $4,700
Cincinnati, OH Second half of April 2.7% $7,500
Austin, TX Second half of May 2.8% $12,600
Las Vegas, NV First half of June 3.4% $14,600
Kansas City, MO Second half of May 2.5% $7,300
Columbus, OH Second half of June 3.3% $10,400
Indianapolis, IN First half of July 3.0% $8,100
Cleveland, OH First half of July  3.4% $7,400
San Jose, CA First half of June 5.5% $88,400


The post Homes listed for sale in early June sell for $7,700 more appeared first on Zillow Research.

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February Employment Situation

By Paul Gomme and Peter Rupert The establishment data from the BLS showed a 275,000 increase in payroll employment for February, outpacing the 230,000…



By Paul Gomme and Peter Rupert

The establishment data from the BLS showed a 275,000 increase in payroll employment for February, outpacing the 230,000 average over the previous 12 months. The payroll data for January and December were revised down by a total of 167,000. The private sector added 223,000 new jobs, the largest gain since May of last year.

Temporary help services employment continues a steep decline after a sharp post-pandemic rise.

Average hours of work increased from 34.2 to 34.3. The increase, along with the 223,000 private employment increase led to a hefty increase in total hours of 5.6% at an annualized rate, also the largest increase since May of last year.

The establishment report, once again, beat “expectations;” the WSJ survey of economists was 198,000. Other than the downward revisions, mentioned above, another bit of negative news was a smallish increase in wage growth, from $34.52 to $34.57.

The household survey shows that the labor force increased 150,000, a drop in employment of 184,000 and an increase in the number of unemployed persons of 334,000. The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.5, the employment to population ratio decreased from 60.2 to 60.1 and the unemployment rate increased from 3.66 to 3.86. Remember that the unemployment rate is the number of unemployed relative to the labor force (the number employed plus the number unemployed). Consequently, the unemployment rate can go up if the number of unemployed rises holding fixed the labor force, or if the labor force shrinks holding the number unemployed unchanged. An increase in the unemployment rate is not necessarily a bad thing: it may reflect a strong labor market drawing “marginally attached” individuals from outside the labor force. Indeed, there was a 96,000 decline in those workers.

Earlier in the week, the BLS announced JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) data for January. There isn’t much to report here as the job openings changed little at 8.9 million, the number of hires and total separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.3 million, respectively.

As has been the case for the last couple of years, the number of job openings remains higher than the number of unemployed persons.

Also earlier in the week the BLS announced that productivity increased 3.2% in the 4th quarter with output rising 3.5% and hours of work rising 0.3%.

The bottom line is that the labor market continues its surprisingly (to some) strong performance, once again proving stronger than many had expected. This strength makes it difficult to justify any interest rate cuts soon, particularly given the recent inflation spike.

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Mortgage rates fall as labor market normalizes

Jobless claims show an expanding economy. We will only be in a recession once jobless claims exceed 323,000 on a four-week moving average.



Everyone was waiting to see if this week’s jobs report would send mortgage rates higher, which is what happened last month. Instead, the 10-year yield had a muted response after the headline number beat estimates, but we have negative job revisions from previous months. The Federal Reserve’s fear of wage growth spiraling out of control hasn’t materialized for over two years now and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9%. For now, we can say the labor market isn’t tight anymore, but it’s also not breaking.

The key labor data line in this expansion is the weekly jobless claims report. Jobless claims show an expanding economy that has not lost jobs yet. We will only be in a recession once jobless claims exceed 323,000 on a four-week moving average.

From the Fed: In the week ended March 2, initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits were flat, at 217,000. The four-week moving average declined slightly by 750, to 212,250

Below is an explanation of how we got here with the labor market, which all started during COVID-19.

1. I wrote the COVID-19 recovery model on April 7, 2020, and retired it on Dec. 9, 2020. By that time, the upfront recovery phase was done, and I needed to model out when we would get the jobs lost back.

2. Early in the labor market recovery, when we saw weaker job reports, I doubled and tripled down on my assertion that job openings would get to 10 million in this recovery. Job openings rose as high as to 12 million and are currently over 9 million. Even with the massive miss on a job report in May 2021, I didn’t waver.

Currently, the jobs openings, quit percentage and hires data are below pre-COVID-19 levels, which means the labor market isn’t as tight as it once was, and this is why the employment cost index has been slowing data to move along the quits percentage.  


3. I wrote that we should get back all the jobs lost to COVID-19 by September of 2022. At the time this would be a speedy labor market recovery, and it happened on schedule, too

Total employment data

4. This is the key one for right now: If COVID-19 hadn’t happened, we would have between 157 million and 159 million jobs today, which would have been in line with the job growth rate in February 2020. Today, we are at 157,808,000. This is important because job growth should be cooling down now. We are more in line with where the labor market should be when averaging 140K-165K monthly. So for now, the fact that we aren’t trending between 140K-165K means we still have a bit more recovery kick left before we get down to those levels. 

From BLS: Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 275,000 in February, and the unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, in government, in food services and drinking places, in social assistance, and in transportation and warehousing.

Here are the jobs that were created and lost in the previous month:


In this jobs report, the unemployment rate for education levels looks like this:

  • Less than a high school diploma: 6.1%
  • High school graduate and no college: 4.2%
  • Some college or associate degree: 3.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 2.2%

Today’s report has continued the trend of the labor data beating my expectations, only because I am looking for the jobs data to slow down to a level of 140K-165K, which hasn’t happened yet. I wouldn’t categorize the labor market as being tight anymore because of the quits ratio and the hires data in the job openings report. This also shows itself in the employment cost index as well. These are key data lines for the Fed and the reason we are going to see three rate cuts this year.

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