World stocks steam higher as inflation fears suddenly fizzle [Reuters]
Economists were struggling to explain the turnaround except for the argument that historically it’s not unusual for stocks and bond market borrowing costs to rise in tandem with a rapidly expanding economy.
Some just blamed the weather and time of year. They speculated that strong U.S. inflation data on Wednesday that many had predicted could reignite the rout was probably distorted. They also said the looming Chinese New Year may have caused Asian traders to square up.
Whatever the reason, the animal spirits were back.
Bitcoin Trembles at $10,000 Level, Paring Gains With Rival Coins [Bloomberg]
Bitcoin edged lower rather than break above $10,000, triggering a selloff in other large digital coins.
The largest cryptocurrency was up 3.1 percent to $9,573 as of 11:43 a.m. in London, after halting a march higher when it came within 0.3 percent of the resistance level. Ripple erased its increase, while Ethereum and Litecoin retreated from advances of as much as 15 percent.
Soros' fund buys shares of cryptocurrency play Overstock.com, while dumping Facebook [CNBC]
Soros Fund Management held 2,472,188 shares in Overstock at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, making it the third-largest shareholder, according to regulatory filings released late Wednesday.
These were worth $157.97 million at the end of the last trading day in December and $146.72 million at the close of trade Wednesday.
Here’s an Idea for Goldman: Buy Bank of New York Mellon [DealBook]
There’s a potentially ideal merger partner for the $104 billion Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street firm’s chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, told shareholders on Tuesday that it was already having some success turning around its stumbling fixed-income, currency and commodities trading unit. But buying $56 billion Bank of New York Mellon could be a better fix — if only the asset-management and custody specialist weren’t in a different league.
If the two were to combine, Goldman would get hold of more than $33 trillion in assets under custody and supervision — think clearing, cash management, global payments and the like. Goldman may be able to sweet-talk Bank of New York Mellon clients into sending more trades its way.
Billionaire Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman: Inflation fears should not overshadow benefits of a stronger economy [CNBC]
With inflation on the rise after years of historically low levels, bond yields have been spiking and putting pressure on the stock market.
But Schwarzman encouraged investors not to lose sight of the big picture: "We have to look at what's going on in the world; the real world, not the markets. Markets get ahead of things and markets get behind things."
He added, "The real world looks like it's in fine shape at the moment."
It’s Really Hard Not To Notice All The Penises At The Olympic Ski Jump Center [HuffPo]
The latest meme to emerge from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, has nothing to do with the athletes or the sports. It’s about a group of statues outside the Alpensia Ski Jump Center.
Called the “Bullet Men,” the statues have phallic heads and, well, actual phalluses. Needless to say, they’re getting plenty of attention on social media, especially in Japan where the images were shared under the hashtag #モルゲッソヨ, which is based on the Korean phrase for “I don’t know.” Tokyo Sports reported that someone asked a volunteer in Pyeongchang about the statues, and that was the reply.