Step aside stocksBitcoin briefly topped $42,000 Monday, hitting its highest level in more than a year. The world’s largest cryptocurrency was lifted by hopes of approval for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund and growing bets on U.S. interest rate cuts. Spot gold prices touched $2,100 an ounce, hitting a record high as investors rushed into the safe-haven asset. Wall Street catches a breath U.S. stocks markets slipped Monday, with investors questioning if markets climbed too fast, too soon following five straight weeks of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched 0.11% at close. The S&P 500 dropped 0.54% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.84% amid a Big Tech shares selloff. Europe’s Stoxx 600 ended down 0.1%, amid an apparent pause in the recent global rally. Of Airlines and DoJ After Alaska Airlines agreed to buy rival Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal Sunday, many argue that the airlines’ executives may now spend many more months trying to convince regulators the acquisition should go ahead. This comes less than a year after the Justice Department sued to block JetBlue Airways’ $3.8 billion cash acquisition of budget carrier Spirit Airlines. Big costs, bigger layoffsSpotify said it was laying off 17% of its workforce, or about 1,500 employees, as it aims to reduce costs and adjust for a slowdown in growth. Shares of the music-streaming service jumped more than 7% Monday. Software provider Twilio also said it would lay off roughly 5% of its workforce, or about 300 jobs, following underperformance of a unit that activist investors have targeted. [PRO] BlackRock says markets too early to price in rate cuts BlackRock’s fixed income chief Rick Rieder says markets are pricing in interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve a little too early and thinks the central bank should start with small rate cuts in the middle of 2024.