The markets opened lower as tariffs between the US and China drove headlines. At the close the Dow was off 103 points on light volume to 24,987. Meanwhile the NASDAQ was higher thanks to Amazon, Faceplant and some other tech stocks like Square and Tweeter all moving higher.
Small business in the US is one of the main drivers for employment. Crane’s Seattle Business News noted recent stats by Biz2Credit showing the Small Business Lending Index up 0.2% to a post-2008 crisis high. Small banks are nearing the 50% loan approval mark and banks with at least $10 billion in assets are now at a 30% approval rate. Then there are new entrants into the space like Square which recently launched a small business lending platform where companies that utilize its payment processing system (like our Boy Scout Troop Christmas Tree sale) can get quick access to small loans from $5k to $30k or more.
Speaking of Square, the price of bitcoin jumped today after New York’s Department of Financial Services granted Square a virtual currency license which allows users of its cash app to trade bitcoin. There are currently 7 million active users of the Square cash app which is the only cash app to allow users to buy stuff with bitcoin.
The power of Twitter was on display over the weekend when Elon Musk tweeted that short sellers of Tesla have about 3 weeks before they get crushed by good news from Tesla regarding its Model 3 production. Tesla is the most shorted stock on the market and has risen 20% in price so far this month. Pressure on the shorts is building. The fireworks we see on the 4th might either be the heads of Tesla shorts exploding in financial ruin or Tesla itself going up in flames if it cannot get production to where it needs to be. This will be interesting to watch.