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Crypto Goes Legit: Coinbase's (COIN) IPO

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The largest crypto platform Coinbase (COIN - Free Report) made its direct-listing IPO today, debuting on the Nasdaq. Analysts are calling it a form of “legitimizing” not only the platform but cryptocurrencies themselves among the “established” investment world. With presumed growth potential beyond its current role as crypto brokerage, COIN has claimed lots of headlines over the course of the day, finishing at $328.28 per share and a $62 billion market share.

This is well off the day’s highs of nearly $430 per share — way above last night’s reference price of $250, but finishing somewhere in the middle. Coinbase analysts expect plenty of turbulence in COIN shares as the company finds its way through public trading. But clearly, those lucky enough to partake in pre-IPO prices of the stock are the ones who have cleaned up so far. It will be a matter of further analysis to see if the company has already reached a high near-term range.

Stocks deflated in afternoon trading, closing mixed across markets, but again only modestly. The Dow finished in the green 0.16% while the S&P 500 — after several days in the past couple weeks setting new all-time highs — was -0.40% on the day. The Nasdaq fell 1% while the small-cap Russell 2000 gained 0.8%. Strength in Energy, up 3% on 4.6% gains in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices. Financials also performed well on notable Q1 earnings this morning from Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) , JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) .

Not much by way of selling pressure brought any negative impact to this Hump Day: Consumer Discretionary, Communication Services and Tech all dipped 1% by the closing bell. Pulling back focus a bit, the S&P 500 is currently +10% year to date, less than half a point below all-time highs. The Nasdaq, for its part, is back to within 2% of its all-time high closing levels, which the index hasn’t seen since last autumn.

Tomorrow morning, we continue toward the heart of Q1 earnings season, with bank majors Citigroup (C - Free Report) and Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) join Delta Airlines (DAL - Free Report) reporting. For however much we’re already celebrating uncommonly healthy year-over-year comps with banks reporting, the Airline industry may prove to be an albatross around the neck of reporting season, at least for the current reporting quarter.

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