New Challenge to CFPB Authority from US Supreme Court

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken a blow to its authority from the LoperBright Enterprises v. Raimondo case.

The US Supreme Court has pushed open the door to legitimate challenges to the bureau’s authority with its new ruling as the court’s own four-decade ruling has been overturned. That ruling, popularly called SCOTUS v. Chevron, allowed the federal government to regulate the financial sector, particularly in the area of payments and services.

 

The CFPB is not completely destroyed by this ruling, but its authority could be called into question in the near future as a result of the Supreme Court overturning the ruling. The federal government’s power of regulation was previously seen as overreaching and excessive, and this ruling helps allay some of those fears.

The ruling will not affect cases where there is already some judicial freedom in determining the statutes that are on the books right now. Right now, regulators and government officials are trying to figure out what this ruling means, though. They are attempting to determine the repercussions, and it is important to keep in mind that no existing decisions are going to be overturned as a result. In other words, what has already happened has happened.

How This Ruling Affects Cryptocurrency

Some areas of the financial sector are bound to be more affected by this decision than others. Teens that will see the most impact will tend to be areas where there has not been as much judicial oversight and where regulations are still murky and undecided, particularly the area of cryptocurrency.

The crypto sector is subject to some regulations, but a lot of government regulation in that area is still being figured out, which is why this recent court ruling will be likely to affect crypto more than other financial sectors. How it will affect crypto remains to be seen, but it should open the door to less regulation and allow more freedom for investors, exchange, and vendors, at least in the short term until more definitive regulations can be put into place.

 

 

Dow Jones Dominates the US Stock Market ahead of Wednesday Opening

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a great day of trading on Tuesday, as it gained 742 points and climbed by 1.85% to reach 40,954.

The other market indices were high but nowhere close to the Dow Jones. Over on the Composite, there was a 0.20% gain. The S&P 500 went up by 0.64% to round out a frenetic trading session.

 

What helped the Dow Jones perform so well was that many of its poorly performing stocks lost very little on Tuesday, but the earners gained a lot of ground. The Dow Jones had its best session in a year, beating its record since June 2023. Its all-time high record on Tuesday should help the market stay high today as well.

UnitedHealth Group, Boeing, and Caterpillar topped the Dow Jones’s charts with decent gains. We don’t usually see such sizable increases on this index, but the across-the-board gains showed that the market is doing very well, and the US economy is in a good place, even though it is still coming out of a recession.

Today’s Trading Expectations

Investors should buckle up for another frenzied day of trading, though perhaps not as high as Tuesday’s numbers. Several banks are releasing their earnings reports this week, which should spur renewed interest in the stock market as investors see a wider picture of where the economy is at and how the money is moving in the US.

Most of the major banks that have already released their earnings statements have shown positive growth and have offered hopeful guidance for the remainder of 2024. Bank of America shared its earnings already this week, and the bank’s stock rose as a result. With the US banks in a healthy place, the overall stock market looks healthier.

Expect today to set some records once more and for all three indices to be mostly high by the time the market closes later today.

Bitcoin Nears $65K as Momentum Slows

While Bitcoin (BTC) is enjoying a price surge as it recovers, the coin is slowing down and showing signs that the bull run may be over.

Bitcoin is up 1.52% today, at a price point of $64,793 (BTC/USD), closing in on $65K. That is a price level we have not seen from this coin in weeks, and investors are hyped about the progress Bitcoin is making back toward its previous high levels.

 

The coin has climbed more than 10% over the last week, but that upward progress looks to be slowing. Bitcoin’s trade volume has decreased today, dropping 5% compared to yesterday, though it is still high. Almost $38 billion in Bitcoin changed hands over the most recent 24-hour period.

That is a much higher trade volume than we have seen from Bitcoin in recent weeks, where many investors were getting rid of their Bitcoin or sitting on it hopefully, waiting to see if Bitcoin would  turn around. We are in a buyer’s market right now, though, with Bitcoin a hot commodity as the crypto market is recovering from its May and June doldrums.

Will Bitcoin’s Speed Pick Back Up?

While Bitcoin is slowing, that may just be a temporary situation. The coin has a lot of upward momentum right now, and it may simply have hit a small hump. We do expect the coin to continue climbing, especially with so many factors working in its favor right now.

The big hindering factor right now is the supply of Bitcoin. Several governments as well as the defunct Mt. Gox exchange have been putting Bitcoin back into the market by the millions of dollars. That has devalued the coin considerably, but for the moment, it looks like Bitcoin has overcome that factor.

There are several positive factors to consider that we believe will help push Bitcoin higher over the next few days. US inflation has eased even more, with the Federal Reserve looking hopeful on the state of inflation. In addition, a variety of ETF products are about to hit the market, and those could give Bitcoin and other cryptos a boost. The stock market is trading well too, hitting all-time highs and showing signs of vigorous health.

Bitcoin has further enjoyed a boost after the failed assassination attempt on former US president Donald Trump. Both Trump and his running mate JD Vance have expressed support for Bitcoin, and political analysts say that Trump’s chances at the presidential office have increased since the shooting.

 

 

Bank of America Earnings Report Beats the Estimates

On Tuesday, Bank of America (BAC) released its quarterly earnings statement which showed better than expected numbers for the 2nd fiscal quarter of 2024.

The bank expected to earn 80 cents per share but managed 83 cents. The expected revenue for the quarter was $25.22 billion, but instead they earned $25.54 billion. The positive earnings report helped the company’s stock rise by $3.82% today to $43.48.

 

The company’s stock has risen significantly this year, staying bullish throughout much of 2024. After this quarterly report, the expectation is that they will continue to do very well and grow their stock for their shareholders.  

Revenue increased by less than 1%, and the company’s profits fell nearly 7% compared to last year. Overall profit for the quarter was $6.9 billion, which is significant enough to keep the interest in this stock high. Net income fell as interest rates remained high.

If the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates later this year, then that could help Bank of America earn a larger profit for the coming quarter. Right now, the Fed is on track to slash interest rates in August or September, a move that it has held off on for months due to high inflation that simply will not let up.

Bank of America Moving Forward

The Bank of America expects to do very well with net interest income, which should help it rake in considerable profits by the fourth quarter later this year. The numbers for net interest income (NII) fell by 3% but still brought in $13.86 billion for the company. The expectation is that later on this year, the bank will turn around this area of its banking and improve this important metric that many banks focus on.

NII shows what the bank is earning with loans compared to what it pays out on savings accounts. The bank anticipates that this will increase to $14.5 billion by the end of 2024.

The current quarter is expected to be the bottom level for NII, with vast improvement in that key area as the year continues. 

 

Healthy US Stock Market Traded High Monday, Set for Bullish Tuesday

We predicted Monday that the day would be one of healthy trading, and that is exactly what it was. All three major stock market indices traded high, closing with gains over the previous day‘s trading.

The Dow Jones led the way with over 200 points gained and an increase of 0.53%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.40% with 74 points added, and the S&P 500 grew by 0.28% with 15 points added.

 

Across most of the stock market indices, there were no outrageous gains by any company, except on the Nasdaq Composite, which saw major movement from a number of companies. Autonomix Medical Inc. (AMIX) saw the biggest gains, increasing by 123% before trading closed off on Monday. The medical technology company had just secured a license with RF Innovations Inc. which develops radiofrequency generators.

Aslan Pharmaceuticals (ASLN) fell 45% on Monday as it prepares to be delisted from the Nasdaq Composite. The company could no longer meet the minimum requirements for listing and will not be appealing the decisions for delisting.

Economic Factors to Consider

Recent US PPI numbers were hotter than anticipated, showing increased prices, and yet the Federal Reserve is optimistic about the economy as well as where inflation is headed. The Fed is still on track to issue interest rate cuts later this year, perhaps as early as next month.

This week’s retail sales for the United States showed a growth of 3.42% compared to data from last year. However, the month-to-month sales showed declining growth, with retail sales up by 0.47% in June compared to May of this year. The growth from April to May was 1.35%.

Overall, we are seeing indications that the economy is slowly improving and that the effects of recession are diminishing. This gives the stock market a chance to perform well, and there is evidence of a healthy market that should continue to set new records as the summer progresses.

 

New Price Predictions for Bitcoin as Token Passes $63K

Now that Bitcoin (BTC) is bullish again, analysts are predicting incredible prices for the coin later this year. BTC just hit $63,732 (BTC/USD) and continues to climb.

Some analysts are predicting a $150,000 price point for Bitcoin by late 2025, expecting the coin to stay high overall and retain much of its gains over the longer term. There is concern that Bitcoin will have trouble hitting some of the predicted price points and experiencing healthy bull runs if it drops below $56,000.

 

Bitcoin has recently dipped as low as $53,905, but it did not stay at that point for long at all. The coin quickly recovered as investors took advantage of the low price point. The danger with Bitcoin is when investors decide to bail in large quantities when they see the price dipping. This panic selling helps to drive the price down even further, and when that happens quickly, it can create a ripple effect of panic.

The Current State of Bitcoin

Bitcoin is trading high right now, with trade volume up 43% over the last 24 hours. That jump in volume should sustain Bitcoin’s price for the short term and help trading remain very busy through most of this week. Even if something causes Bitcoin’s price to be negatively impacted, the large commitment made to Bitcoin investing in the first couple days of this week should help the coin to retain its gains.

There are a few price factors to consider as Bitcoin continues its bull run, climbing 1.84% today. First of all, the coin surged after the assassination attempt on former president Trump. That surge may be hitting the end of its lifespan, as we have seen a decrease in gains from day to day since the attack.

Secondly, the US PPI numbers were not overly positive but still helped to carry hopeful economic sentiment for the markets and the state of US inflation. That may change as new economic data is digested this week, including retail sales and the housing market index.

Thirdly, Bitcoin has been low for weeks, struggling below the $60K level, and investors are excited about its bullish trend right now. They may pump the coin up extremely high in the short term in anticipation of a continued upward motion, which could help Bitcoin set a higher support level.

BlackRock Link to Trump Shooting ahead of Quarterly Earnings

Investment management firm BlackRock Inc. (BLK) has ties to the Trump assassination attempt. Their earnings report is coming out later today.

The company actually showed the gunman from Saturday’s shooting in one of their advertisements. Thomas Matthew Crooks, who shot at former US president Donald Trump, injuring him, appeared in the background of a video shot by BlackRock back in 2022.

 

BlackRock issued a statement after the video resurfaced and said that they never hired Crooks or paid him any money for appearing in the video. The company denounced the violence of the incident and have distanced themselves from Crooks.

BlackRock is set to release its quarterly earnings report today, and the link between their company and the shooter does not seem to have cast a shadow on their stock price. The company’s stock is up by 0.34% from yesterday with a price of $830 per share.

What to Expect from the Earnings Report

Analysts have been looking at BlackRock’s numbers leading up to the press release scheduled for later today. The world’s largest money management company, BlackRock, has about $3.5 trillion in ETF assets. They are well ahead of any competition, with their next closest competitor Vanguard only holding about $2.7 trillion in assets.  

BlackRock has absolutely dominated its market, and it is expected to continue to do so throughout 2024. In the last two years, BlackRock has more than doubled its stock price, making it a sound investment for anyone wanting to expand their portfolio. US PPI data released recently could hinder the stock from achieving its full potential, as those numbers came in a bit higher than expected, but overall sentiment about the economy and inflation are still positive. BlackRock will likely continue to grow as the year progresses. 

 

Progressive Prepping for Strong Earnings Report

Progressive Insurance (PGR) will be releasing its quarterly earnings report today on Monday the 15th, and the expectation is that the company will have positive results to show.

Ahead of the earnings report, the company’s stock grew slightly on Friday before the market closed. Since Monday morning, though, the stock has grown by 1.44%, up to $216 per share. It looks like investors are hopeful about the company’s report and how it will affect the stock price.

 

The company is expected to show that its earnings have improved year over year when it reports the earnings for the quarter that closed off at the end of March 2024. The reports will have a significant impact on the company’s stock price.  

What Are the Expectations for PGR Stock?

The company could be posting an earnings per share of $2.96, if its earnings are in line with predictions and the current data. That would mean an improvement from last year of about 355%. For annual revenue, the predictions place Progressive’s numbers around $16.5 billion, which would be a healthy increase of 16%.

What is really significant for investors is that the stock price predictions for this quarter have jumped recently. Over the last month, the prediction has gone up by 7.35% than the previous numbers. That explains why the stock price is up now ahead of the earnings report.

We recommend investors consider buying Progressive stock at this time. We expect the price to go up and the stock to improve in value over time. While some business markets are tough to call for stocks, like retail and tech markets, Progressive is doing well in the insurance niche and has shown improvement from quarter to quarter recently.

We see no significant indicators that would hold it back from doing well again this quarter as the numbers roll in and are released to the public. US PPI numbers were higher than expected, which could hold the stock back a bit, but we still expect a strong performance from the PGR stock. 

 

 

Hacker Paid by AT&T to Erase Customer Records

Telecommunications company AT&T made a cryptocurrency payment to a hacker in the amount of $370,000 for deleting sensitive customer records.

Victims in UK Lose $200 Million to Crypto-Related Frauds Till Q3 2021

These were all records that had been stolen and contained private customer information. The company suffered an extensive breach of their security and was attempting to minimize the damage to their company and to their customers by hiring a hacker to delete any stolen records.

 

AT&T negotiated with the hacker for the work, reportedly bringing him down from his original request for $1 million. According to reports, the hacker was from the group ShinyHunters. The company requested that the hacker show them video evidence that all of the records had been deleted, and they then paid him 5.7 bitcoin.

AT&T was the victim of a data breach that lasted from May of 2022 to January of the following year. The breach resulted in millions of customer records being stolen, and these included metadata related to calls and text messages across the AT&T network. The company was concerned that if the thieves did a reverse lookup with the data, they could identify individual customers and expose them to harassment, blackmail, and identity theft. The data could also be sold to marketing companies if the hackers chose to do so.

The Larger Hack

AT&T was not the only company that was a victim of these hacking attacks. While their data breaches were among the most notable and newsworthy, more than 150 companies were targeted as well, which included Santander Bank, Advance Auto Parts, and Ticketmaster. With millions of customer records being stolen, the risk of identity theft has been high for those affected, and the damage to public sentiment for these companies has been incredible.

AT&T is not working alone to deal with the damage caused by the data breaches. They are being aided by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which is working hard to identify those responsible for the attacks.

 

High Stock Market Could Stay High Today to Open New Week

Before news of former president Donald Trump’s assassination attempt broke, the US stock markets had already closed for the week.

The market indices closed up, with even the Dow Jones joining the gains with an increase of 247 points, up 0.62%. The S&P 500 also climbed, with an increase of 0.55%. Rounding out the top three indices with its gains was the Nasdaq Composite, which closed off Friday with an increase of 0.63%.

 

The indices could continue to stay high this week thanks to positive economic data last week. The US PPI data showed a higher than expected increase of 2.6% year on year, however, most economic analysts do not believe that this indicates rising inflation. They say that other factors indicate the inflation is actually easing and that the Federal Reserve should still be on track to issue interest rate cuts later this year.

The major stock market indices are all showing signs of healthy growth, which would minimize any negative economic data and cast doubt on the notion that inflation is worsening. This year’s impressive stock market gains indicate an economy that is growing and trading at a healthy rate.

Stocks to Keep an Eye on

Later this week, we will see a few major companies release their quarterly earnings reports. Goldman Sachs (GS) is issuing theirs later today, and their stock price has climbed slightly ahead of the report’s release.

Progressive (PGR) and BlackRock (BLK) will be issuing their earnings reports later on today as well. Their stocks have both gained as well leading up to the release of their quarterly reports. To us, this indicates a healthy market that is gearing up for opening strong today and even perhaps setting new records this week.

Some of the US’ biggest financial institutions will be reporting their earnings this week, and these include Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Their reports can help to shed light on the state of the US economy and where it might be headed, so investors should be watching those reports closely.