Markets were higher, bitcoin was down. We move on.
Maybe it's just me but I heard a lot of talk about commodities today. Whether it's gold's investment value versus bitcoin or oil's recent rise. Brent crude futures rose 0.6% Friday afternoon to $69.68 per barrel after hitting a more than three-year high of $70 per barrel Thursday. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude contracts were also in the green slightly at $64.40 around 5 p.m. ET.
In the grand scheme of things, $70 international oil, especially when the spread between Brent and WTI remains wide, is good news for U.S. oil and gas companies.
"The commodity's support in the first weeks of 2018 already has analysts and other industry followers chattering over an uptick in corporate consolidation among oil and gas explorers and producer," write Tom Terrarosa, couching the proclamation with the sentiment that sell-sides are typically a bit over-hyped on some of these things and that $80 oil would really drive dealmaking.
TheStreet's Brian Sozzi kicked off the day with a call that following strong earnings from the financials, including Action Alerts PLUS holding JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , you should take a look at retailers in the upcoming quarter.
His logic? Strong earnings in the credit card segments of banks could be an indicator of strong holiday sales. That said, you've got to wonder whether the cash (or credit) was flowing through online portals like Amazon.com (AMZN) or eBay (EBAY) or Walmart's (WMT) Jet.com, or being processed at department store registers at Macy's (M) and the lot.
For the bold investor maybe you take a guess, for now, maybe you stay with the financial services and get the interest rate hike bump later in the year, as well. My call on all of this? Fintech and infrastructure. No matter where purchases are made -- online or in stores -- the way we transact business is changing and that benefits those working the pipes. Just check out the latest installment of Brian and Kinsey Grant's interview with PayPal CEO Daniel Schulman.
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Photo of the day: What would the 'colonel' think?
Bitcoin capped off a frothy week Friday, Jan. 12, with mixed voices. As prices dipped to sub-$14,000, critics shouted "bubble." But at the same time Yum! Brands-owned (YUM) Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that its Canada locations would accept bitcoin as payment for delivery orders of the "Bitcoin Bucket." Clearly, hungry crypto lovers were all about it -- the roughly $20 bucket was sold out quickly. You'd have to image that Colonel Harland Sanders (pictured above circa 1964 at age 74) would be rolling in his grave if he heard that some computer-based currency was being exchanged for his 11 herbs and spices. Maybe when he heard that the cryptocurrency was worth more than a midsize sedan he'd warm up to it, though. Read More
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