S&P 500 Falls Ending the Quarter

Equities in the U.S. market stayed volatile on the last day of the week with companies linked to economic reopening outperforming tech stocks. Stocks from the Energy, financial and industrial sectors led the gains for S&P 500, and NASDAQ 100 stayed flat. 

The debt ceiling standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. is becoming a concern for investors with only 17 days left until Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s deadline for a deal to avoid default on the country’s AAA-rated bonds. If a deal is not reached, it will be catastrophic for the market.

Stoxx Europe is down by 0.53%
Dow Jones is up by 0.69%
NASDAQ is up by 0.10%

Merck Soars After Its Covid Drug Showed Reduced Risks

The stocks of German company Merck jumped more than 10% on Friday in NYSE after the company said that the anti-Covid-19 drug it is developing has shown reduced risks of hospitalization and deaths by around 50 percent. They are waiting for the U.S. emergency use authorization for the pill and are expecting Molnupiravir, the drug to be the world’s first oral antiviral medicine for Covid-19.

Bitcoin Soars More Than 9%

World’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin jumped more than 9% on Monday to cross $47800. Following the crypto king, many other coins including Ethereum, Dogecoin, XRP are up by 7-8%. The $43000-$47000 zone has been broken by Bitcoin with a solid green candle. But it has strong resistances at $49000, $50000, and $53000. Many analysts are expecting very high volatility in crypto movements. Yesterday Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comment that the central bank had “no intention” to ban cryptocurrencies and this is also speculated as a reason.

Spain To Discuss With Great Wall Motor On Nissan Plant Takeover

Spanish authorities and Japanese carmaker Nissan has decided to discuss the possibilities of handing over Nissan’s plant in Barcelona with China’s Great Wall Motor. Nissan has three plants in Barcelona which would be shut down as part of global restructuring in December this year. Great Wall is currently interested in the larger plant and may consider the other two smaller plants also.

General Motors Says Chip Shortage Crisis Is Cooling Down

U.S automaker General Motors said on Friday the semiconductor chip shortage that affected all the automakers is now less intense compared to the previous months. The manufacturers were forced to produce vehicles without chips and park them at their facilities. Though its third-quarter sales dropped by 218,195 vehicles to 446,997 units compared to last year, the company believes that a steady flow of vehicles held at plants will continue to be released to dealers in the fourth quarter.

Silicon Prices Jump 300% with an Unexpected Price Hike

Prices of Silicon, a metal made from one of the most available elements in the world, have suddenly become short on supply. The metal is used in chips everywhere from computers to cars and is threatening the world economy’s recovery.

The shortage in electricity in China has led to a production cut of Silicon, and has sent prices up 300% in less than two months.

Even the Dirtiest Coal Is Surging Due to China’s Power Crunch

China is paying the most on record for the dirtiest type of coal, showing how the power crisis is turbo-charging Asian energy markets. The price of a variety of lignite coal from Indonesia surged to $110 to $120 a ton this week due to rising demand from China and falling production from mines in Kalimantan, said traders who buy and sell the grade. That’s up from last year when some shipments sold for as little as $20 to $25 per ton.

U.S. Weekly Average Of COVID-19 Cases And Hospitalizations Drops By 15%

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Friday the weekly COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the US are down by 15% compared to the previous week. It had a daily average of 106,400 COVID-19 cases, 8,300 hospitalizations, and more than 1,476 deaths in the last seven days and the government is trying to double the number of Covid tests in the coming weeks, she added.