Market Wrap: Stocks Rise, Cryptos Fall After Fed Flags Smaller March Rate Rise

The S&P 500 rose by 1.86%, while the Nasdaq and Dow jumped 1.7% and 1.79%, respectively.


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key takeaways

  • Powell said Wednesday the Fed plans to increase rates a quarter point, but they will “need to be nimble”
  • Gold and bitcoin sank while equities increased, suggesting bitcoin may be regaining correlation to safe-haven assets

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress Wednesday he supported a quarter-point increase in interest rates in March but that factors — including the war in Ukraine — will play into coming decisions.

"The near-term effects on the US economy of the invasion of Ukraine, the ongoing war, the sanctions and of events to come, remain highly uncertain," Powell said.

"We will need to be nimble in responding to incoming data and the evolving outlook."

The quarter-point increase was lower than initially indicated by the Fed, fueling a sharp rise in equities. While stocks rose, safe-haven investments, such as gold and Treasurys, dropped.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dropped, too, suggesting bitcoin's recent tendency to behave like a risky tech play has ended, and it is being viewed more as a safe haven amid geopolitical turmoil stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The S&P 500 rose by 1.86%, while the Nasdaq and Dow jumped 1.7% and 1.79%, respectively.

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Bitcoin declined 1.44% by the end of stock-trading, mimicking gold's drop. Ether also took a hit, losing just under 1% on the day. Anchor Protocol, which powers crypto savings accounts, was today's biggest gainer among the top 100 coins by market capitalization with a jump of nearly 13%.

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Top stories

Story: Ukraine Government Prepares First-of-its-kind Airdrop to Crypto Donors

  • The government has not provided additional information about what the Thursday airdrop will entail
  • Since Ukraine launched its unconventional crowdfunding efforts on Feb. 26, it has accumulated over $30 million from about 50,000 donations

Story: Crypto Company ConsenSys Under Fire From Shareholders Demanding Audit

  • Thirty-five shareholders have filed a request with Swiss courts to investigate the transaction
  • A ConsenSys spokesperson refuted the allegations as “factually inaccurate”

Story: DeFi Trading Platform Raises Round Led by Alan Howard in Social Investing Push

  • The developer wants to build a new team using the funds that will go toward its Meta Services suite of products aimed at budding Web3 developers
  • The developer said it was aiming to to serve as an infrastructure layer for “the entire Web3 ecosystem”

Story: Survey: One-third of Women Plan To Buy Crypto This Year

  • About 1 in 4 women already own crypto, the survey found
  • Other subsectors in the industry remain largely untapped by women as only 5% have bought an NFT or participated in crypto mining

Going forward

Time will tell if bitcoin remains correlated to other safe havens — versus its recent correlation to tech stocks. Both cryptos and equities are likely to remain volatile in the short to medium term as events unfold in Ukraine.

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