Holiday Bell: 12.29.23

What Did Wall Street Get Right About Markets This Year? Not Much [WSJ]
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates at the fastest clip since the 1980s, a regional banking crisis felled Silicon Valley Bank, and war broke out in the Middle East. Yet stocks kept climbing…. It is a far cry from the doom and gloom many were bracing for at the start of 2023.

U.S. stocks head lower as hopes for S&P 500 record fade [MarketWatch]
After trading just a few points shy of its record close of 4,796.56 from Jan. 3, 2022 after the open, the S&P 500 is now more than 35 points away…. All seven members of the “Magnificent Seven” — which includes shares of Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc., Nvidia Corp., Apple Inc., Tesla Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. — were trading in the red as well.

Tiger Global’s Coleman Regains Control of Venture Unit After Losses, Client Complaints [Bloomberg]
He’s taking over the unit that accounts for about two-thirds of the firm’s assets and has made Tiger a dominant force in startup investing. The move comes after some investors asked [Chase] Coleman and other partners to get more involved in the wake of steep markdowns and has given many comfort that the firm is seeking to correct the biggest misstep in its history…. [Scott] Shleifer, 46, will remain a partner and be a member of Tiger’s new venture investment committee, which will include several other partners and be led by Coleman, 48. The move puts the private book largely in the hands of the founder, who until now had been mostly overseeing the hedge and long-only funds, even though he had also been a co-portfolio manager of the venture business.

Why Oil Prices Never Surged to $100 This Year [WSJ]
Behind the surprise: actions by the Biden administration and U.S. oil companies that resulted in an unexpected surge of petroleum supplies…. U.S. oil companies pumped more petroleum this year than ever before due largely to faster drilling speeds, longer wells and other efficiency gains. The country is expected to average a record 12.9 million barrels a day of crude oil production this year, a million more than in 2022 and nearly 600,000 more than previously forecast….

China’s economy had a miserable year. 2024 might be even worse [CNN]
“The 2024 challenge for the Chinese economy will not be GDP growth — that will likely be above 4.5%,” said Derek Scissors, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a center-right think tank. “The challenge will be that the only direction from there is down….”
“The second half of the 2020s will … see slowing growth,” Scissors said, citing a correction in the troubled real estate sector coupled with demographic decline.

Big Battles Loom in SEC’s War on Crypto [WSJ]
A winner is unlikely to emerge in 2024 and neither is certainty about who regulates crypto…. The SEC has filed about 55 enforcement lawsuits over cryptocurrencies since Gensler took over, according to data from Cornerstone Research. But it is the cases against Coinbase, Binance and Kraken that will matter.
“If the SEC loses these cases, it won’t have the wind at its back in the same way it currently does,” Allen said.

Musk Leads World’s Richest to $1.5 Trillion Wealth Gain in 2023 [Bloomberg]
Their fortunes were closely correlated to the performance of tech stocks, which rose to fresh records this year despite recession fears, lingering inflation, lofty interest rates and geopolitical turmoil. Tech billionaires saw their wealth grow by 48% or $658 billion, propelled by intense hype around artificial intelligence.

Singapore imposes civil penalty on Credit Suisse for managers’ misconduct [Reuters]
Relationship managers in the bank’s Singapore branch had provided clients with “inaccurate or incomplete post-trade disclosures, resulting in clients being charged spreads which were above bilaterally agreed rates for 39 over-the-counter (OTC) bond transactions”, the MAS said in a statement.

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