CNBC Daily Open: The rush for gold — and bitcoin

3 Min Read

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. Asia-Pacific markets fell across the board, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down 1.4% and South Korea’s Kospi off by 0.7%. 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. Crime and punishment The Department of Justice announced Monday a major Swiss bank, Banque Pictet, had admitted to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers and others to hide over $5.6 billion from the Internal Revenue Service. The private banking division of the 218-year-old Pictet Group will pay about $122.9 million in restitution and penalties as part of an agreement with the prosecutors. [PRO] Wall Street’s new e-commerce darlingWall Street analysts are betting big on one Chinese e-commerce giant and it’s not Alibaba. In fact, this firm has a current market capitalization of nearly $190 billion, compared with Alibaba’s $185.8 billion. Here’s the full story.

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