Stocks finished mixed on Wednesday, as impressive retail sales figures in January blew analyst expectations out of the water. U.S. retail sales rose 5.3% month over month, far ahead of the 1.2% expectations.
The improving outlook for the economy has been steadily causing an uptick in interest rates over recent weeks, with rates now approaching one-year highs. The 10-year Treasury yield still hovers around 1.3%, however, which in historical context is still incredibly low.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 90 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 31,613, clocking another record closing high.
Bitcoin hits new all-time high. Bitcoin continues to hit new high after new high, hitting record prices above $52,500 on Wednesday. Although prices had been rising in 2021, Tesla (ticker: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk's decision to purchase $1.5 billion in Bitcoin to diversity his company's balance sheet, announced when the price was around $40,000, has driven further momentum in the leading cryptocurrency.
It's looking likely that Tesla's adoption could usher in an era of more corporate and institutional acceptance, which will drive demand for Bitcoin. The world's largest asset manager, BlackRock, announced on Wednesday that it has begun moving into the Bitcoin space.
Don't expect Tesla and BlackRock to be the last big names to make waves in this area.
Buffett bought three stocks last quarter. The world's most famous and successful long-term investor, Warren Buffett, acquired three stocks through his holding company Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B, BRK.A) last quarter.
When Berkshire puts money behind their stock ideas, markets listen. Chevron ( CVX), Marsh & McLennan ( MMC) and Verizon Communications ( VZ) were the only three new companies that Berkshire decided to buy in the fourth quarter. That news, revealed in a filing late Tuesday, sent shares of all three companies higher, with blue-chip stocks Chevron and Verizon contributing to the day's gains in the Dow.
House to explore GameStop, Robinhood saga. A number of the biggest players in the recent GameStop ( GME) trading frenzy and the resultant fallout from that will appear before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on Thursday.
Among others, Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev and the most well-known Reddit investor in GameStop, Keith Gill -- perhaps better known by the moniker "Roaring Kitty" -- as well as several other parties, will testify before the committee.
Expect it to be politicized.