BITCOIN PLUNGES: Here's what you need to know

Cryptocurrencies dominated the markets on Friday.

Bitcoin ended its worst week since 2013 with a plunge to below $US11,000 in a reversal that sceptics – and even some investors – had expected after a breathtaking surge.

The cryptocurrency was down by as much as 45% from its recent high of nearly $US20,000, though it has recouped much of the loss. Its move prompted trading halts on Coinbase, the largest US crypto exchange, and in futures trading at CME Group.

The sell-off spilled into smaller digital-currency markets including ether and litecoin.

Major equity indexes closed lower but little changed on the last working day of the year for some traders.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,754.06, -28.23, (-0.11%)
  • S&P 500: 2,683.34, -1.23, (-0.05%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,959.96, -5.40, (-0.08%)
  • 10-year yield: 2.485%, +0.002
  1. President Donald Trump signed the massive GOP tax bill into law before heading to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas. The bill overhauls the tax code for individuals and businesses, eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s so-called individual mandate, and opens parts of Alaska up to oil drilling.
  2. Bank of America Merrill Lynch will pay employees making up to $US150,000 per year a one-time $US1,000 bonus, according to a memo cited by The Wall Street Journal. Also, Texas Capital Bank and Sinclair Broadcast Group on Friday announced special bonuses because of the tax cuts.
  3. Mike Novogratz, the famed hedge funder turned crypto junkie, is shelving a plan to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund. He told Bloomberg he thought bitcoin could fall to as low as $US8,000 a coin.

Additionally:

The chief global strategist at Charles Schwab says a bitcoin crash won’t infect the rest of the market

The biotech company that pivoted to blockchain is looking for a CTO and a background in cryptocurrency is a ‘big plus’

An industry insider just blew the lid off the racket that makes American drugs so expensive

7 companies whose stocks surged – then slumped – after jumping on the crypto bandwagon

We now know who was behind the $US1 million bet on bitcoin soaring to $US50,000

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