Bitcoin bulls go on the offensive against Berkshire Hathaway

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Good morning.

There’s light overseas trading volume this morning as some markets are off today to celebrate Labor Day. Most of the action is in the U.S. futures market where tech and blue chips lead the way higher on this first trading day of May.

Elsewhere, crypto currencies are popping. That’s after crypto bulls got into it on Twitter over the weekend with Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger. To recap: Munger is highly critical of the crypto coin, and that triggered a lot of ageist swipes at the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman. Don’t mess with Munger. He’s 97, but as sharp as ever.

In today’s essay, I examine the big winners and losers for April. And, a warning about today’s Postscript—it’s one for the dogs.

But first, let’s see what else is moving markets.

Markets update


  • The major Asia indexes are mostly lower in afternoon trading with the Hang Seng down 1.3%.
  • There’s quite a bit less action in Hong Kong today as the exchange halted trading in 40 companies for failing to meet a deadline to release financial results. The suspended list includes solar power venture GCL-Poly Energy Holdings. 


  • It’s a somewhat muted open in Europe with various countries, including the United Kingdom, celebrating May 1 Labor Day festivities today. The European bourses were higher out of the gates, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.15%. The benchmark did eke out a gain in April.
  • Here are the big European names set to report this week: Volkswagen and AB InBev (both on Thursday), and Siemens on Friday.


  • U.S. futures are on the upswing this morning. All three major averages closed Friday on a losing note, but the benchmark S&P 500 finished April in the green.
  • Shares in Apple are flat ahead of a landmark antitrust battle that heads to court today. Fortnite video game maker Epic is suing the iPhone maker, accusing it of using its operating system to stymie competition.
  • Corporate results continue this week with earnings calls from Eli Lilly (today), Pfizer and T-Mobile (tomorrow), and PayPal, Uber and PepsiCo on Wednesday.
  • Also on tap: non-farm payrolls report comes out before the bell on Friday.


  • Gold is up, trading around $1,780/ounce.
  • The dollar is up. The greenback fell 1.6% last month.
  • Crude, one of April’s big winners, is down slightly this morning. Brent trades above $66/barrel.
  • Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger is no fan of bitcoin. He told investors this weekend he thinks “the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.” Bitcoin bulls were not kind on Twitter. It’s trading near $59,000.


Buy in May?

You know the old saying by now: Sell in May, and go away. The adage is based on historical data analysis that shows the May-through-Halloween period to be the worst performing stretch of the year.

Had you listened to that advice last year, you’d have missed out on one heck of a rally. The benchmark S&P 500 climbed a whopping 15.5% in the May 1 – Oct. 30, 2020 period, led by huge gains in big cap tech stocks.

What can we expect this time? Before we get to that, let’s look, as we do here regularly, at how the markets performed in the previous month.

All three major averages rose impressively in April, led by the Nasdaq, as today’s chart shows.

That’s after the tech-heavy index underperformed in March. You’ll recall that tech stocks were buffeted over that stretch as bond yields took off. It was the opposite story in April, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note falling roughly 12 basis points. Declining yield is like rocket fuel for tech stocks. On cue, the Nasdaq jumped 5.4%, outperforming the Dow by a factor of two.

The other big winners in April were, somewhat paradoxically, Tesla and crude oil. Brent continues to charge higher, up roughly 25% this year, as global demand for oil climbs and the global economy continues to recover. After April’s rally, meanwhile, Tesla is up a mere 0.5% in 2021.

The biggest losers of our tally this month are Japanese stocks, bitcoin and GameStop, the meme stonk king.

Is that enough evidence for you to buy in May?

It’s important to note that there aren’t many markets-watchers predicting a duplicate of the tech-led 2020 summer rally. In fact, Wells Fargo Securities’ Chris Harvey told CNBC last week that, after April’s gains, this is probably a good time to take some tech chips off the table.

The reason: the story going forward will be one of red-hot economic growth, inflation and rising bond yields. Add that up, and it’s not a good environment for pricey tech stocks, says Wells Fargo’s Harvey.

“We are just beginning a very aggressive GDP cycle, a very aggressive recovery. Typically, when you have growth and growth is abundant, you don’t want to pay a premium for tech,” Harvey told CNBC. “That’s where we are right now.”



I’m trying something different with Postscript today. Just this once, I’m turning the keyboard over to a new voice who has been bugging me for some time that she’s got something really urgent to share.

Warning: the views and opinions expressed in today’s Postscript are those of the guest author, and do not represent those of Bull Sheet or Fortune Media Group in any way, shape or form. 

It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic

By Scilla, a puppy

It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic. 

It’s always markets, markets, markets in this place. I couldn’t care less about your human inflation, your price of lumber, your rising bond yields or your volatile FAANG stocks. 

Ooh, a pair of Crocs! And they’re barely chewed!  


It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic. 

Crypto? I get that it’s a peer-to-peer payment system based on open source software that’s managed by a community of volunteers rather than on a single central authority, but you still won’t hear me calling it a “currency.” Can you pay taxes with it? Nope. Can you use it to buy those hotdog-flavored doggy treats—mmmm, hotdogs!—at the Pawlicious Treats shop? Don’t make me howl with laughter.

The bitcoin rally is little more than a naked speculative bubble that’s been inflated to spectacular levels. And somebody is going to get hurt. At these prices, only the first-movers will make money. Happens every time.

I’m cool with Dogecoin though. That’s legit. 

It’s Catcoin that worries me. That could take down the markets.  


It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic.

SPACs? Woof! 


It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic.

Hey, you have a nice Aeron chair. I have this little doggy bed that smells like…like… like dog. Move over, Mr. Fancy Chair. I’m going to ball up behind you. Like that. That’s better.

Wait, I need more room. Just. move. a. bit. further. off. the. edge. of. the. seat. There! 

Hey, where’d you go?


It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic.

Another thing: that yoga mat. Why can’t I scratch it to shreds when you roll it out? Why can’t I settle below the arch of your downward dog and lick, lick, lick your face? 

You call that down dog? I invented down dog, dog! 

That’s it. I’m climbing on your back. Ooh, ears. I’m going to lick, lick, lick.


It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic.

If another human complains about the size of the Fed’s balance sheet, I’m going to growl. The most important indicator you should be watching? My food bowl. It’s empty. Meanwhile, you snack all morning.


It’s not easy being a puppy in a pandemic.

I don’t like the Postscript. Not one bit. Wrap this newsletter up already.

I should be outside. It’s time to take me for a walk, dog!

Bernhard Warner

As always, you can write to or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

Today's reads

The 600 club. Auto stocks are flying this year, and it all comes down to two letters: EV. The electric vehicle boom is driving up the shares of Volkswagen, Ford and Daimler, to name a few. But can any of their new EVs catch up to the Tesla Model 3? Fortune's Christiaan Hetzner examines the new batch of EVs coming out this year to determine which offer the longest ranges on a single charge.  

Big bitcoin losses. Few currencies have been more volatile this year than the Turkish lira. With the currency crashing, crypto speculation has been rife across the country. In response, Turkey's autocrat president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, waged war on crypto last month, and that's when the real volatility kicked in.

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Market candy

Quote of the day

It’s either going to be one of the smartest things I’ve done or one of the stupidest.

That's BrewDog cofounder James Watt speaking with Fortune's Sophie Mellor about the craft brewer's global expansion plans ahead of its hotly anticipated IPO. Banking on big growth even with some of BrewDog's most important markets still under lockdown is very much in keeping with BrewDog's brash and aggressive style. “We quite like it when our backs are up against a wall,” Watt told me a few years ago when he and his cofounder were getting in all kinds of trouble for their guerrilla marketing attacks on the likes of AB InBev, Vladimir Putin and British parliamentarians.

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