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Bitcoin sell-off deepens, digital currency now down 50% from recent peak as Dow closes above 26,000

Bitcoin slid to $10,000 on Wednesday for the first time since Dec. 1, leaving the cryptocurrency down by close to half from its peak hit last month. Bitcoin's sell-off, sparked by fears of a regulatory crackdown, deepened Wednesday with the price of a single coin briefly dropping below $10,000 for the first time since November and its total loss spiraling to 50% since its mid-December peak. The minicrash in bitcoin is the latest bout of volatility for the upstart cryptocurrency that made big news last year when its price skyrocketed nearly 1,400%, creating a speculative frenzy for people around the world trying to get rich quick.

Market watchers warned of a bubble last year when bitcoin skyrocketed, despite the fact it is a fledgling digital currency that still hasn't achieved widespread acceptance from governments or central banks around the globe. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently told CNBC the current bitcoin frenzy "will come to a bad ending". The latest bitcoin price slide has been driven by fears that governments around the globe would move to limit bitcoin trading or squash it altogether. There is debate on whether bitcoin, which is a stateless and unregulated digital currency, will ever replace traditional paper currencies such as the dollar. Market watchers also question whether it will ever become anything more than a speculative asset class. Bubble warnings have proven savvy in recent weeks as bitcoin's value has plunged as speculators "abandon ship", says market analysts. The question now is whether bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which have also fallen sharply in value early in 2018, will find their footing.

The recent declines could prove discouraging to people who saw bitcoin as an easy way to make a lot of money, making any recovery a more gradual process than prior bitcoin rebounds after steep drops. The South Korean government says it plans to ban cryptocurrency trading, sending bitcoin prices plummeting and throwing the virtual coin market into turmoil.
Adam Shell, USA TODAY Published 11:58 a.m. ET Jan. 17, 2018 | Updated 4:22 p.m. ET Jan. 17, 2018

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Stock futures rise as jobs report beats expectations

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, well above the expected gain of 183,000.
"If this were a company reporting earnings, this would be a beat and raise in guidance," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
"We're also winding down on the earnings season so this came at the perfect time."
The closely watched wage number was unchanged from previous months, with average hourly earnings up 2.5 percent. The average work week also was unchanged at 34.5 hours.
Bars and restaurants provided the biggest boost for the month with 53,000 more positives, while professional and business services contributed 49,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
Investors were watching out for this report, looking for clues on the chances of further interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Meanwhile, oil prices were lower after new data showed rising U.S. production and stronger output from OPEC countries. Brent was trading at $51.51 and WTI at $48.56. (08/05/2017 MSN)

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Is This Clean Tech Stock Set to Soar in 2017?

It is reasonably with confidence that we can all agree that food waste, garbage, and pollution is a generational problem that is spiraling out of control.
There is a lot riding on a sustainable solution for this problem and there will be huge financial windfalls for companies helping to solve it.
The $475 billion-dollar waste industry has no incentive whatsoever to change. It gets paid by the pound to pick-up, ship, and bury of all the food waste in America.
These Waste Managements (WM) of the world have had a monopoly on garbage and all the profits from it.
Now, it's obvious that there's a need for sustainable disposal solutions with over 1 billion tons of produce being thrown away per year.
One company has already stepped up to the plate to take on this challenge, and may quite possibly have found the most efficient and environmentally friendly solution to date. This company could possibly be one of the best investment opportunities we have come across in years.

BHTG has been public just over a year and it is now trading on the OTC stock exchange in the USA, which makes it one of the very few,
publicly listed companies with solid growth and fundamentals in the OTC Markets. In fact, we would be surprised if it isn't trading on a major exchange in the near future! What is so amazing about the BHTG solution is you don't have to pick-up, ship or bury your food waste anymore. That's right, all the things that the industry giants are being paid billions of dollars for, are no longer needed.

BHTG offers a high-tech alternative to the dumpster, compactor and truck. The company sells a cabinet-based system called the Eco-Safe Digester that looks a little like a conventional compactor: pour your food waste in the top, shut the door and let nature do its work. However, that's where the disruption begins.
Each Digester unit has the capacity to process up to 2,400 pounds of trash (worth $72 to a hauling company) per day into clean drain-safe water.
A potential savings to each customer of over $18,000 per year (08/05/2017MSN).

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Stock Market Surge

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 22,000 points for the first time ever. Unfortunately, this bright spot might not be quite as bright as it appears.
Across multiple indexes, the stock market has been doing quite well as of late. But the good fortune isn't uniformly spread across the economy.
It's actually relatively concentrated, mainly in Silicon Valley and the tech sector.
For example, Apple already the world's biggest company by stock market capitalization, powered much of the Dow's latest rise, helped along by anticipation of a new iPhone release.
Meanwhile, the five biggest companies in the S&P 500, Apple, Alphabet (Google's corporate parent), Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, account for 12 to 13 percent
of the index all by themselves. Those are the stocks that are doing much of the climbing.
Meanwhile larger swaths of the index flounder. "To date, the S&P 500 index is trading well above its 200-day moving average," CNBC reported in April.
"But about 120 to 130 stocks in the index are actually trading below that moving-day average. So, those five above-mentioned stocks are doing a lot of the heavy lifting."
Sectors that are particularly struggling to carry their weight in the stock market are real estate, telecommunications, finance, and energy.
In their own way, the first four's problems probably reflect lingering damage from the Great Recession, while the energy sector has been bedeviled by the global oil glut.
As for why tech is enjoying its disproportionate good fortune, there are a few different possible explanations.

Let's start with the most optimistic theory: That the tech sector's outsized revenues and profits are totally justified, and it's just unusually good at creating value compared to the rest of the economy. Even if true, it is still not necessarily a good thing. Over the last few decades, America's economic geography has shifted dramatically.
It used to be that recoveries from recessions were powered by widespread job and business creation: across urban and rural communities alike.
But now nearly all the action is exclusively found in big cities. Outside these urban enclaves, economic life has rotted and died.
That's created all sorts of perverse side effects, particularly spiking housing prices in big cities, which in turn prevent huge numbers of Americans
from being able to afford access to economic opportunity. (08/05/2017 MSN)

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Hedge funds lose more than half a billion on wrong-way bet against Tesla

Tesla (TSLA) is burning through cash, losing $4000 on every car it sells, according to Reuters. At that pace the Silicon Valley automaker must have spent $359 million in the last quarter in what was a bull market for luxury cars. Last week, Tesla cut its production targets for this year and next. Chief Executive Elon Musk says he is considering raising capital for the company, possible with a new stock sale. Musk has given himself a deadline, promising that by the first quarter of 2016 Tesla will be making enough money to fund a jump from making one expensive, low volume car to mass producing multiple models, and expanding a venture to manufacture electric power storage systems. Tesla has signaled capital spending will drop this year because the company won't be spending on a major vehicle launch. Tesla's stock is still about 70 percent higher than it was two years ago, and 8 percent ahead of its level on Jan 1.

Hedge fund managers lost more than half a billion dollars Thursday because of their bet against Tesla (TSLA), according to estimates from financial technology firm S3 Partners.

With Tesla up 6 percent at the opening of trading Thursday, investors who sold the stock short are down a collective $607 million in a single day, estimates S3.

The electric car maker led by outspoken CEO Elon Musk is the most heavily shorted U.S. stock. Short interest, or the number of shares borrowed in hopes of buying them back at a profit after the stock drops, totals $9.03 billion for Tesla, according to S3 Partners. That's $2.4 billion larger than second place AT&T's (T) short interest. Source: S3 Partners Research

Tesla bears were down $3.64 billion in mark to market losses in 2016 and the first half of 2017, as the total short exposure increased 49 percent, noted Dusaniwsky. However, the July to August month to date time period was better for the skeptics as they were able to recover over $1.1 billion of their mark to market losses. It's not just hedge funds who bet the wrong way on Tesla. Wall Street analysts, normally a very bullish crowd, were largely negative on the stock heading into the earnings report. They reiterated there bearishness in reports on Thursday, despite the stock pop.

"We were surprised by the after hours move in TSLA shares and continue to be cautious on the stock, especially as the risk profile shifts from the hype of the Model 3 to execution, or 'production hell' as Elon Musk refers to it," Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne wrote in a note. Some of the gains Thursday may be attributed to hedge funds throwing in the towel on their short bets, forcing them to buy back the stock they had borrowed and sold short. That buying rush will sometimes fuel further gains in what's called a "short squeeze."--With reporting by Tae Kim 08/05/2017