Need to Know: Forget bitcoin’s weekend slump. Watch these 2 key levels for what happens next, strategist says.

United States

U.S. stocks may be having a subdued start to a big week of earnings, but bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been far from quiet.

Bitcoin prices BTCUSD, -1.46% slumped over the weekend, at one point reaching $ 51,907 — down around 20% from a recent peak of $ 64,829 in February. The benchmark crypto recovered some ground into Sunday evening but was trading 1.8% down at $ 55,224 on Monday.

Some are viewing the pullback as a pause, including former Goldman Sachs GS, -0.41% hedge-fund manager Raoul Pal. The crypto bull said in a tweet he always feels “relieved” after big liquidations of leveraged longs on crypto, adding that it “cleans up the market.”

In our call of the day, Miller Tabak & Co. chief market strategist Matt Maley said investors couldn’t draw any conclusions from the weekend’s action, but that this week’s normal trading hours were crucial.

“We had said it was important for the near-term bullish case that bitcoin held in the mid-$ 60[000]’s by weeks-end. That did not happen and now it is trading lower so that’s not good either,” he said.

However, Maley noted that the weekend trading was “very thin” and has historically not been a great indicator of how bitcoin will trade the following week. He added that the catalyst for much of the decline appeared to be “very vague chatter” about a U.S. crackdown on bitcoin.

He conceded that the long-term fundamental argument around bitcoin provides investors with “almost no insight” into how the asset will trade over the short-term at any given time.

Therefore, two key technical levels should be closely monitored by investors, he said, including Thursday’s closing high of $ 63,400. “Any meaningful close above that level should be very bullish,” Maley noted. The other is the cryptocurrency’s late-March low of $ 52,000. Any significant close below that level would “raise a big warning flag about the short-term potential” for bitcoin.

The markets

U.S. stocks COMP, -1.05% edged lower in early trading edged lower early on Monday, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.43% and S&P 500 SPX, -0.53% indexes closed at all-time highs on Friday. European stocks nudged higher, while Asian shares rose on optimism over the global recovery.

The buzz

The top U.S. infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday he would be “very surprised” if the COVID-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ, +0.38% wasn’t resumed in some form by Friday.

First-quarter earnings season will pick up the pace this week, with beverage company Coca-Cola KO, +0.48%, tech giant IBM IBM, -0.43% and United Airlines UAL, -1.54% all reporting on Monday, and Johnson & Johnson, streaming platform Netflix NFLX, +0.29% and consumer-goods company Procter & Gamble PG, -0.34% set to report on Tuesday.

Audio-based social network Clubhouse has closed a financing round that reportedly values the company at around $ 4 billion.

Quarantine-free travel bubbles opened up between Australia and New Zealand on Monday, to the relief of thousands of families kept apart during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A breakaway group of 12 English, Spanish and Italian clubs split European soccer on Sunday by announcing the formation of a largely-closed Super League. The move is being partly led by the U.S. owners of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. Shares in Italian club Juventus JUVE, +17.85% jumped 12% in early trading, while Manchester United stock was 4% higher in premarket trading.

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Gnome limits: U.K. garden centers run out of gnomes after the Suez Canal blockage.

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