Welcome to 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
Programming note: There will be no newsletter on Monday, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We’ll be back in inboxes Tuesday.
Let’s get into it.
1. The crypto debate rages on in the new year. Disagreements abound as the bitcoin bear market drags on, with hot takes coming from investors, governments, and central banks.
In one corner this week, the CFO of Robinhood said he sees no reason to put a “meaningful” amount of corporate cash into crypto. Meanwhile, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary compared the space to the tech firms of the 1990s, calling crypto the biggest opportunity for investors in 2022.
El Salvador faces perhaps the most immediate pressure from bitcoin’s recent slump. Bloomberg estimated the country has lost upwards of $10 million on its investment in the coin.
In the world of central bank digital currencies, a broad buy-in from the US or the UK still appears to be a long way off. A House of Lords report published Thursday said there’s no convincing case for a “Britcoin,” And in the US, a congressman proposed a bill to limit the Fed’s ability to issue its own digital currency, while the Fed itself has been slow to publish its long-awaited report on the topic.
Still, Fed Chair Jay Powell remarked in his confirmation hearing that a US central bank digital currency would be able to coexist with private crypto.
2. Global stocks are sliding after hawkish Fedspeak. With big bank earnings on deck, US indexes are struggling to shake off losses. Check out the latest moves on the market.
3. Bank of America shared a list of under-owned stocks most likely to top expectations in earnings season. Rising inflation and COVID-19 cases are looming threats — but these 13 unloved stocks can bolster your portfolio.
4. Earnings season kicks off: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, and Citigroup, all reporting.
5. The Fed’s impending rate hikes have flipped markets upside down. Investors are completely changing their minds about what stocks to own as the easy-money era winds down. These three charts explain what’s going on.
6. Elon Musk revealed Tesla is accepting dogecoin to pay for some merch. It’s the only accepted currency for some items in Tesla’s online store, but some believe it’s a test run for more. The meme coin soared on the news.
7. China is launching a state-run NFT blockchain that is entirely separate from cryptocurrencies. After banning cryptocurrency transactions in 2021, Beijing now looks to capitalize on the NFT boom by developing and governing its own technology for non-fungible tokens. Here’s the latest on China.
8. Crypto exchanges FTX and Bitstamp are working to add stock trading to their US platforms. After a report from Bloomberg on the moves, Robinhood stock dropped in trading. The president of FTX.US tweeted the exchange is “hard at work on stocks.”
9. A single mom quit her job after reaching financial freedom in four years. Specific investments helped her grow her savings into a $900,000 portfolio. She shared three steps every woman should take to reach earlier retirement.
10. A SPAC investor gave his top 18 picks from four blue-ribbon blank-check sponsors. The market “swings between super-hot and ice-cold sentiments,” said Accelerate Fintech’s Julian Klymochko. He and two other experts told Insider the trends to watch for the new year.
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