Bitcoin Goes Bullish, Snap Stock Jumps 28%

Markets have been conducting day-to-day evaluations of the likelihood for further fiscal stimulus, and the prospects for a speedy bill seemed to notably sour on Wednesday, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had still not come to terms by the end of the trading day.

Any spending agreement would likely be in the neighborhood of $2 trillion and face difficult opposition from Senate Republicans, making the prospects of a deal before the election — now less than two weeks away — unlikely.

The major U.S. stock indices all fell modestly on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 97 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 28,210.

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An $8 billion fine and dissolution for Purdue Pharma. Privately owned Purdue Pharma, the drugmaker behind the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges related to its role in the opioid epidemic.

Total fines and forfeitures amount to around $8.3 billion, and the company will be forced to dissolve in order to satisfy those debts.

Bitcoin soars on PayPal tie-up. The premiere cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Bitcoin, hit new 52-week highs on Wednesday after digital payments giant PayPal Holdings (ticker: PYPL) announced it would soon allow customers to buy, hold and exchange bitcoins and several other cryptocurrencies through its digital wallet.

By early 2021, PayPal will let its users pay for products and services with the cryptocurrency — a major step toward more widespread adoption. Bitcoin’s value was up more than 6% through late Wednesday afternoon, eclipsing $12,800 per coin.

Twitter jumps in sympathy with Snap. Snapchat parent Snap ( SNAP) reported impressive earnings late Tuesday, sending shares of the social media company up more than 28%. The rise was due to quarterly numbers that were much better than expected, most notably the rabid demand from advertisers.

The company boasted a record number of active advertisers last quarter, posting a surprise adjusted profit and signaling advertiser demand may be coming back more broadly — and more rapidly — than previously expected.

On the theory that a rising tide lifts all boats, Twitter ( TWTR) and Pinterest ( PINS) both jumped in sympathy with Snap, rising 8.4% and 9%, respectively.

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