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Stocks and crypto flatline as an impressive first-half comes to a close

June 30, 2021, 9:41 AM UTC

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Good morning, Bull Sheeters.

On the last day of what’s been a stellar quarter, global stocks and U.S. futures are heading lower, but not by much. Up or down, market moves have been fairly subdued for more than a week now. There just aren’t all that many catalysts on the calendar ahead of Friday’s big jobs report.

Even crypto is pretty flat—down, but not by much.

For the real excitement—a big apology here to Bull Sheet readers in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich—you have to go to the footy. My daughter and I watched England’s historic 2-0 victory last night, an achievement that’s doing zilch for markets this morning. Maybe London traders are feeling a bit groggy this morning.

Let’s see what is actually moving the markets.

Markets update

Asia

  • The major Asia indexes are mostly higher in afternoon trading with the Hang Seng up 0.4%.
  • Didi Global, the Uber of China, lists later today on the NYSE. The hotly anticipated IPO is expected to value the company above $67 billion.
  • Shares in Tencent are down 0.7% on Wednesday, adding to the Chinese tech conglomerate’s four-month slide in which it’s lost one-fifth of its value. The reason: mainland traders have been dumping the stock in huge numbers, Bloomberg reports.

Europe

  • The European bourses out of the gates were like out-of-town tourists puzzling over a street map—standing still. The Stoxx Europe 600 was down a mere—squints—0.1% in early trading, before falling further.
  • England last night beat Germany in a knockout match of the Euro Cup, ending “55 years of pain.” I lived in Blighty for five of those painful years, watching, in person, the 2004 Euro Cup collapse against France. Cannot for the life of me remember how I blagged that ticket. I do remember that some smash-and-grab thief broke into our rental car after the match in Lisbon and made off with my passport. The takeaway: bad things happen—even to Americans—when England plays.
  • And the markets impact of last night’s historic victory? No meaningful moves in sterling or the FTSE; both are flat. As Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank writes this morning, “I can’t believe at the start of my career that equity markets genuinely went up in countries that won important matches at major tournaments. Life was so much simpler back then.”

U.S.

  • U.S. futures have been trading lower throughout the morning. The Big Three indexes finished higher yesterday, but only by a smidge. This is what you call a melt-up. Bull Sheet readers in Portland, Seattle and Western Canada know all about melting this week. Stay cool!
  • Shares in Moderna are up 0.7% in pre-market trading after closing yesterday at an all-time high. The biotech firm said its COVID vaccine is effective against the dreaded Delta variant.
  • Speaking of hot stocks: Shares in Translate Bio, a biotech that also specializes in mRNA technology, soared more than 12% yesterday on news it has begun trials of a mRNA flu vaccine.

Elsewhere

  • Gold is down, trading below $1,760/ounce.
  • The buck is flat, but dollar shorts cannot be happy with the greenback’s run over the past month.
  • Crude is flat with Brent heading around $74/barrel.
  • Bitcoin is down slightly, trading below $35,000.

***

Buzzworthy

I’m switching things up this week. Tomorrow I’ll dig into the winners and losers of the first half. As such, we get Buzzworthy today. Enjoy.

“Bulls usually smile”

As of Friday’s close, the S&P 500 was up an even 14% YTD, and it’s ticked up a few basis points since then. Going by historical data, such stellar first-halfs usually bode well for the full year, says LPL Research.

💵💵💵

We all live on Fed Street

🏡🏡🏡

🎵 Chicago, New York, Detroit and it’s all on the same street 🎵

Home price data is in, and it’s yet another record. (More on that below.) That’s all I’ll say on the topic. My older brothers would give me real grief if I were to try to find a Grateful Dead metaphor somewhere in these figures. In the meantime, turn it up. (It’s possible I was at this show; I recognize Jerry’s black t-shirt… and Bob’s jeans shorts.)

🎸🎸🎸

***

Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… Until then, there’s more news below.

Bernhard Warner
@BernhardWarner
Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.com

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

Today's reads

Crypto ETF. Uber bull Cathie Wood is looking to launch a Bitcoin-themed ETF. There's just one problem: the SEC has yet to approve such a thing, but with Wood's clout maybe that will change. Here's what you should know about how her ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, as it's to be called, would work.

ESG investors, beware. There's a bubble forming in the red-hot market for ESG assets. So warns Eiji Hirano, the former chairman of the board of governors of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, one of the world's largest pension funds and a pioneer in ESG investing.

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Market candy

14.6%

Let's talk house prices—because they're absolutely booming. The closely watched S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index numbers came in yesterday, revealing a record jump. Across the country, houses prices rose 14.6% year-on-year, with the median home price topping $350,000 for the first time ever. Bargains are hard to come by. Home prices are up everywhere: in cities, suburbs and beyond. 

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