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Wall Street Breakfast Podcast: Bitcoin tops $50,000


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Bitcoin (BTC-USD) tops $50,000 for the first time in over two years amid spot ETF momentum. (00:21) JetBlue (JBLU) rises after Icahn announces his stake. (01:34) Express (EXPR) plunges after-hours on reports of an impending restructuring. (02:21)

This is an abridged transcript of the podcast.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) broke $50,000 for the first time since late 2021 as spot BTC ETFs continue to see strong inflows.

However, it is still well below the peak of $69,000 reached in November 2021.

“Even though FTX, Luna, Celsius and BlockFi collapsed in 2022, nothing changed in the fundamentals of Bitcoin (BTC-USD),” said Michaël van de Poppe, CEO of MN Trading Consultancy. “It is hard money that is recognized by large institutions. The robust recovery over the last 24 months shows this.”

According to CoinShares, spot BTC ETFs saw net inflows of $1.1 billion last week, bringing inflows since launching on January 11 to $2.8 billion. Meanwhile, outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) continued to slow.

With the success of spot BTC ETFs, Wall Street firms are increasingly applying for spot Ethereum ETFs, most recently Franklin Templeton. Other applicants include Van Eck, ARK, BlackRock, Fidelity and Grayscale.

While the industry expects the SEC to approve ETH spot ETFs by May, JP Morgan previously said there was no more than a 50% chance of this happening.

JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) rose in after-market trading Monday after activist investor Carl Icahn announced a 9.91% stake in the budget airline.

JBLU +15% at $6.99 premarket.

Icahn now owns approximately 33.6 million shares of JBLU, valued at $204.1 million based on the most recent closing price of $6.07 per share.

Icahn said in the filing that he purchased JBLU shares with the belief that “they were undervalued and represented an attractive investment opportunity.”

Icahn also announced that he intends to continue discussions with members of JetBlue's management and board of directors about the possibility of representation on the board.

Apparel retailer Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) ended the day down 12.4% on Monday and was down 13.3% premarket after reports that the company is preparing for a debt restructuring that will be completed within a few days weeks could include filing for bankruptcy.

The retailer is considering a nearly $280 million debt restructuring, according to a WSJ report on Monday that cited people familiar with the matter.

Express (EXPR) is still trying to avoid a bankruptcy filing by restructuring debt outside of Chapter 11, people familiar told the WSJ.

The WSJ article comes after Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Express (EXPR) had met with lenders to discuss restructuring the company.

Other articles to watch out for on Seeking Alpha:

Walmart and Energizer face class action lawsuits over battery prices

Federal Judge Dismisses PhRMA Challenge to Medicare Price Negotiations

Diamondback sees pro forma production growing with fewer wells after the Endeavor deal

Now an update on our earnings observation from Monday. Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR) fell 1% after the car rental company reported a fourth-quarter profit increase but missed revenue expectations by $10 million.

Also weighing on the stock was a 30% decline in earnings per share in the quarter, largely driven by increased fleet costs as the number of vehicles increased by 5.2K during the quarter.

Total revenue remained flat at $2.7 billion.

In 2023, Avis Budget (CAR) revenue reached a record $12.0 billion, while net income at $1.6 billion and adjusted EBITDA at $2.5 billion were the second highest levels of the year company.

Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) is on our earnings watch today. ABNB reports fourth quarter results after the market close today.

Investors will keep an eye on 2024 forecasts given an expected slowdown in travel demand.

The San Francisco-based company is expected to report earnings per share of $0.70 and revenue of $2.16 billion (+13.7% YoY).

Over the past three months, EPS estimates have been revised upward seven times and downward six times. Revenue estimates were revised upward nine times and downward twice.

On our catalyst clock for the day,

  • 5:00 p.m. MGM Resorts (MGM) holds its earnings call. The casino operator could report on commercial gambling licensing efforts in New York and provide an early indication of what Super Bowl sports betting volume has been for BetMGM.

US stocks ended mixed on Monday.

The Nasdaq (COMP.IND) fell 0.30%. The Dow (DJI) gained 0.33%. The S&P (SP500) slipped 0.09%.

Of the 11 S&P sectors, seven ended in the green.

Now let's take a look at the markets as of 6am. Ahead of today's opening bell, Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures are in the red. The Dow is down 0.16%, the S&P 500 is down 0.4% and the Nasdaq is down 0.6%. Crude oil rose 0.7% to above $77 a barrel. Bitcoin is over $49,000.

On global markets, the FTSE 100 fell 0.1% and the DAX fell 0.5%.

The day's biggest moves premarket: ZoomInfo Technologies (NASDAQ:ZI) rose 21% following its Q4 results that beat consensus expectations and offered a positive outlook.

In today's economic calendar:

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please note the risks associated with these stocks.

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